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The hungry dystopia of climate change

An Indian farmer walks with his hungry cow through a parched paddy field in Agartala, India, 2005.    REUTERS/Jayanta Dey

An Indian farmer walks with his hungry cow through a parched paddy field in Agartala, India, 2005. REUTERS/Jayanta Dey

It’s the year 2026. A poor monsoon season in India leads to low wheat output, which is followed by a surprise thaw and refreeze that flattens crops in the Black Sea region, and a bad Chinese wheat harvest. Russia and some other producers impose export restrictions to conserve food. Next, drought strikes the U.S., and things suddenly aren’t looking good for soy and corn, either. Then, because nothing can possibly go right, the second monsoon season fails in India. Panic ensues and households in some countries start hoarding rice! Importers start bidding up for larger orders of grains! There are more export taxes and restrictions and the cost of food increases!

That’s the worst-case scenario laid out by a new report from a U.S.-U.K. task force on food security. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t include peace, sunshine, and an end to world hunger.

Thanks to climate change, farmers are now contending with more unexpected weather than usual in recent years. Farmers have always been subject to the whims of nature, but eaters in the developed world haven’t had to worry too much about their problems: For every crop failure there was someone else with a bumper harvest. That may be about to change.

Continue reading here.

To learn more about climate adaptation, biodiversity, crops and food supply, see the following ACT reports:

Biodiversity Reports

Crops & Food Supply

 

 

 

 

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