Friday, January 09, 2009


Doyle Rice, USA Today - Hotter summers from global warming will drastically reduce crop yields and lead to a disastrous food shortage for billions of people by the end of this century, predicts a study in the journal Science. "The hottest seasons on record will represent the future norm in many locations," says the study by David Battisti, a University of Washington atmospheric scientist, and Rosamond Naylor, director of Stanford University's program on food security and the environment. . .

In the tropics, higher temperatures - as much as 9 degrees above current summer averages - could cut crop yields by 20% to 40%, the study says.
"Because these regions are home to about half the world's population, the human consequences of global climate change could be enormous," the study says.

The crop crisis wouldn't be limited to the tropics. Parts of the United States by 2100 could have typical summers warmer than the highest temperatures recorded from 1900-2006 - along the Eastern Seaboard, the Southeast, the western Plains, the Rockies and California.

The study points to the record heat in western Europe in the summer of 2003, which killed tens of thousands of people. Wheat yield that year in France and Italy was cut by one-third.