Climate change is heating up the planet, and for plant life, that means shorter stretches of the cool temperatures they need for their dormant periods—the hilariously named “chill hours.” This disruption has already led to decreased crop yields on California farms, and the problem is getting worse. A new study in the journal Agronomy suggests that some California crop yields could decrease by 40 percent by 2050. Considering that California supplies some two-thirds of America’s produce, decreased yields could lead to nationwide food insecurity in a worst-case scenario.
Still, all hope is not lost. Agriculture experts can help protect the nation’s food supply by developing heat-resistant crops—and everyone else can help by reducing emissions. NPR has the story:
Climate change could decrease the yield of some crops in California by up to 40 percent by 2050. That’s a big deal for farmers in the state, which provides about two-thirds of the nation’s produce.
California farmers grow more than 400 commodity crops. Tapan Pathak, a University of California Cooperative Extension specialist based in California’s Central Valley, and his research team analyzed 89 studies on climate change and discovered that warming temperatures may alter where crops grow across the state. Their findings were published in the journal Agronomy.
“In order to make California agriculture more sustainable, we have to act now,” Pathak says.
Read full story here.