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12/04/2007

Toll Of Climate Change On World Food Supply Could Be Worse Than Thought

Image:Parched ground cracks in a wheat field during the hot European summer of 2006. (Credit: iStockphoto/Susan Stewart)

Global agriculture, already predicted to be stressed by climate change in coming decades, could go into steep, unanticipated declines in some regions due to complications that scientists have so far inadequately considered, say three new scientific reports. The authors say that progressive changes predicted to stem from 1- to 5-degree C temperature rises in coming decades fail to account for seasonal extremes of heat, drought or rain, multiplier effects of spreading diseases or weeds, and other ecological upsets. All are believed more likely in the future. Coauthored by leading researchers from Europe, North America and Australia, they appear in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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