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Crop Destruction: The Effect of Climate Change by City Tech Blogge Jimmol Singh

Climate change is one of the most discussed topics today. It is an event that affects everyone no matter which part of the world they are. Ever since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the 1800s, fossil fuels became the number one source for energy. Today 81% of our energy come from oil, coal, and natural gas. The burning of fossil fuels has made the earth warmer due to the large amount of C02, Methane and other gases being released into the atmosphere. Some of the main carbon dioxide emissions are the human activity which is also called anthropogenic but, carbon dioxide also comes from natural places from the earth such as animal and plant respiration, decomposition of organic matter, forest fires, and emissions from volcanic eruptions. According to U.S. Department of Energy, “There are also naturally occurring carbon dioxide deposits found information layers within the Earth’s crust that could serve as carbon dioxide sources.” So, there are many sources of carbon Dioxide emission but this becomes a serious issue because humans disrupt the balance of nature and when there is a balance, things go out of order. As the human population increases, there is a demand for more. More natural earth resources are used up. The second leading cause of climate change is deforestation. Trees are used for many things such as paper for magazines, newspapers, candy wrappers, and cereal boxes. Tree Sap is used to make maple syrup, chewing gum, crayons, paint, and soap. Dyes and medicines are made from the bark, while leaves and roots provide oils for cosmetics and medicines. These are all common items used by many people from different part of the world and trees are being cut down to make these. Trees play an important role in the carbon cycle. At night plants and trees take in carbon dioxide and releases CO2, in other words oxygen for us and other living creatures to use. Since trees are being cut down, carbon dioxide is not being stored anywhere else but instead, all is being released into the atmosphere since trees and plants are being converted into these everyday items for human consumption. In the end, both anthropogenic and natural activities both combine putting the earth into an increased state of heating that rises every year.

http://news.mit.edu/2017/climate-change-drought-corn-yields-africa-0316

Scientists have predicted that the global temperature will rise between 5.4° Fahrenheit to 9° Fahrenheit if we all continue to burn fossil fuels at the rate we are currently going. According to Climate Change and Famine by Physicians for Social Responsibility “ if we continue burning fossil fuels at our current rate. This could lead to 30% to 50% declines in crop production.” A few crops that will be greatly affected by climate change is corn, soybean, rice, and wheat which are highly used ingredients used throughout the world in many products. The effect of warmer temperature on plants will be different depending on the region of the world but, in the Northern Hemisphere, the warmer temperature will lead to a decrease in photosynthesis(which is the process plants use to convert sunlight into glucose which is energy and food for the plants) because  extreme heat damages photosynthetic and reproductive cells. The decrease in moister of the soil will lead to more water consumption and which can be costly on farmers, especially poorer farmers. Lastly, the increase in heat means the increase in survival rate of diseases and pests. Many pests such as aphids and weevils grow a lot better in areas with warmer temperatures and higher carbon dioxide levels. Climate change may also cause mutations in crop diseases that increase their destructiveness.  Although, one could argue that increase C02  increase growth in crops such as wheat, soy, and rice because higher carbon dioxide levels increase photosynthesis and reduce plant water loss. According to experts, the negative effects will outweigh the good and the crops will still get too much heat for a much longer period which will then cause damage to the crops. Heat is not the only factor that will cause damage to crops, climate change is also linked to heavy rainfalls, floods, and tropical storms. You see extreme rainfall and the intensity matters in agricultural areas. Too much water is also bad for plants and as intense rainfall over these areas, the chances of these crops getting damaged also increase. According to Climate Change and Famine by Physicians for Social Responsibility, ”Rainfall intensity could increase by 25% in many agricultural areas”. An increase of rain leads to flooding which wipes out large areas of crops. An example of this is in 2007 when cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh, 1.6 million acres of cropland was destroyed and later caused significant soil erosion which than led to reducing long-term productivity. Soils were clogged with water which also reduces plant growth and increases fungal diseases. Lastly, an increase in floods means that salt is easily spread into the soil making it harder to grow crops. As the planet temperature rises, so will the prices of food. Currently one out of seven people in the world is starving, which is about one-billion people on earth. They say the next war will be over water access but I say there will be a war on both food and water. At the rate humans are burning fossil fuels for energy, their own action will lead to their own destruction. Farming and agriculture are one of the most important things that keep a civilization going and surviving if farming and agriculture fails, so will a nation or an entire civilization of people. Right now, steps need to be taken in order to prevent this global tragedy from ever occurring. Finding a better, greener alternative to generate energy from an energy source is the way to go. Also, finding a greener alternative way also push for more innovation that will only have great impacts on the next generation in the future.

 

 

 

 

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