7 Foods We Could Lose Due To Climate Change
Rising temperatures and harsher winter, that are caused by climate change are threatening several food production systems. There are a handful of food production systems that producers may have to up and abandon due to climate change.
David Lobell, the deputy director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University says, “The general story is that agriculture is sensitive. It’s not the end of the world; but it will be a big enough deal to be worth our concern.”
Lobell says the effects of climate change on some crops can already be seen. For example he says both corn and wheat have been negatively affected by our changing climate. Fruits and nuts are also feeling the affects. If fruit and nut trees do not get the necessary number of cold days, their production and quality will plummet.
Let’s take a look at 7 foods threatened by climate change.
In Latin America and Africa beans feed the majority of the population. Legumes could face massive reduction due to climate change. Higher temperatures directly affect the plants flowering and seed production in bean vines. In bean-growing regions, to much rain as a result of severe storms and flooding could destroy entire crops yields. Beans are super sensitive to the climate. Higher temperatures, especially during night time hours could greatly affect bean production.
Cherries and other stone fruits need ‘chill hours’ to bear fruit. If there are, too few cold nights the trees have a less chance of successful pollination. The majority of cherries are grown on the west coast where rising temperatures will most likely result in less fruit production.
A study completed in 2011 shows that the raw ingredient used in chocolate, cacao will become far less plentiful due to climate change. The decline is caused by rising temperatures and falling supplies of water. As temperatures rise it results in “evapotranspiration” in the cocoa trees, which causes the trees to lose more water and air and greatly reducing the yield.
Rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns in the tropics have created “coffee rust.” This fungus and other invasive species are now the norm at coffee plantations. Drought conditions in Brazil have caused coffee prices to skyrocket. Many experts have predicted that, if climate change trends continue as they are, Latin America’s coffee production will have to relocate to Asia.
Rising temperatures and shortages in water could be devastating for corn. A temperature rise of just 1C could reduce corn’s rate of growth by 7%. The loss of corn yields effects more than just the grocery store. Many farmers count on corn to feed their livestock. Lower yields of corn could easily result in higher meat prices, as well as fewer meat servings per capita.
Drier summers and wetter winters, put more stress on sugar maple trees. During winter sugar maple trees need freezing temperatures to fuel their contraction and expansion process, that must be done to produce sap. All ready, rising temperatures have caused sap to flow far earlier. This change could very well push maple production up by a month by the end of next century.
The US Department of Agriculture has predicted that the maple syrup industry will move north because trees in cooler temperatures produce better.
Climate change is impacting water temperatures, which contributes to rising levels of CO2 in the ocean. Rising CO2 levels leads to ocean acidification, which threatens many edible ocean creatures. The shells of young oysters and other ocean calcifying organisms will most likely grow less sturdy as time passes.
Most fish will be slow to adapt to acidification, which will lead to species collapse. Tropical fish and lobsters are all ready moving north in search of cooler waters. Lobsters eat all most everything in sight putting other species at risk.
Think about how frightening it would be not to have coffee to start your day or a chocolate candy bar when you have the munchies. Pancakes without maple syrup just aren’t the same. It’s time we stop questioning climate change and start finding ways to stop it.
About Tammy Marie Rose
Tammy Marie Rose is an author, blogger, freelance writer and Earth Warrior! She has over ten years professional writing experience in environmental fields.