Ever since the invention of farming thousands of years ago, we have become dependent as a race on the climate to make sure we have food to eat. Many aspects of modern farming have become automated and easier to control through processes like irrigation and machine farming; however, it remains an essential part of agriculture that the climate be correct for the crop being grown.
Climate change has become a global phenomenon, which has had a huge impact worldwide on the agriculture industry. Through changes in overall temperature, changes in rainfall levels, and extreme climate changes like heat waves, there are already huge changes in agriculture.
When it comes to agriculture, there are two major problems: not having enough land to grow crops on and not being able to efficiently use available land for crops. Climate changes impacts both of these potential issues. With a rising climate, it is expected that South America, Africa, Europe, and India will all lose major parts of their farmland; the land is expected to go underwater in the next decade or two. This will lead to farming shortages as less land is available for agriculture.
The other issue is that available land will yield less crops per acre. Extreme heat waves, floods, and other climate issues cause land to grow less food. High temperatures can also lead to increases in pests and weeds.
As the world rises in average temperature worldwide, it is expected that grain will suffer drastically and there will be a sharp decline in its production. It is also expected to have a major impact on the yield of rice. Many places will begin to grow other crops that will be better suited for the changing environment; they will need to expend far more effort on irrigation and spreading nutrients, which will be difficult in countries that don’t have access to modern technology.
It is believed that the impact of greenhouse gas emissions is already set in stone for the next fifty years and that our changes will make their greatest impacts in the years to come; however, it is important that we change now to lower our environmental footprint and that we search for ways not just to cut back on emissions but to reverse greenhouse gas emissions to this point; only then will we be able to change our fate.
We have a responsibility to our future generations and to our beautiful planet to treat it right and to take climate change seriously. We must dedicate ourselves to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and even reversing the effects that our actions have already had. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, joining your local CSA is a great place to start!