I read an article in Scientific America about how climate change could reduce the production of corn by the end of the century. Scientists believe that the spike in temperatures as predicted by climate models for North America could hurt its agriculture sector. Scientists predict that the harvest of wheat, soybeans, and corn could drop by up to 49 percent due to the rise in temperatures. This will be dangerous for the United State because we are one of the largest crop exporters in the world. The higher temperatures will cause damage to the vital organs of the crops.
(Photo courtesy of Indiana Public Media)
Some crops like cotton can handle extreme heat, but others like corn can’t handle high temperatures. The article addresses that a key problem in climate change is a lack of water which these crops need to survive. The scarcity of water could be influenced by other consequences of climate change, like changes in precipitation patterns. The article addresses one way to get more water by the use of irrigation, but the article feels that we will run out of resources by irrigating; like other parts of the world have already experienced. Scientists are experimenting with ways to genetically modify crops to make them more resilient to higher temperatures in order for the crops to withstand the higher temperatures due to climate change.