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Essay Topic: Many countries that have traditionally been major exporters of agricultural products (e.g. rice = Thailand and corn = the U.S.) are reporting much lower yields in recent years due to adverse weather changes.
Evaluate this issue of global climate changes and how it is affecting agriculture globally.
In the period of the development of agricultural technology, although the improved varieties, genetically modified, artificial rainfall and irrigation technology continues to advance. However, climate also is one of the most important factors of agriculture. The general climate conditions for agriculture include: temperature, carbon dioxide, glacial runoff, precipitation (BaiDu, 2011). In recent time, the forest resources drop in sharply, land erosion, salinization and desertification exacerbated by climate change. Melting glaciers, rising sea levels and increasing the water area are the phenomenon of global warming.
Global warming is already the undisputed facts. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a fourth assessment report of climate change come to this conclusion (IPCC, 2007).
Global warming has advantage and disadvantage effects on crop growth. The disadvantage is the global temperature changes directly affect the global water cycle, so that droughts or floods come out in some regions, lead to crop failures. Then the advantage is increases in precipitation, especially in the arid region will actively promote the growth of crops.
Elevated carbon dioxide levels will also promote the photosynthesis of crops to improve crop yields. On the research, when the carbon dioxide increased, usually the normal crop is to increase, in which the averages yield of wheat increased by 8% -13%. The averages yield of Sugar beet increased 8%. But this is just on one hand. As the experts also found that the increase in carbon dioxide concentration, crop quality has a downward trend, especially corn. The yield of rice have different rate of production. It should be downward 10% -13%.
Climate change impact on agriculture in developing countries, especially those dependent on the weather of the country will be catastrophic. Overall, increased 1 degree Celsius, cereal harvest in temperate regions will be modest increases, such as northern Europe, United States and Canada. Increased by 2 degrees Celsius, the harvest in tropical regions will begin to reduce. The rate of drop production may be equivalent of 5% to 10% in Africa. Increase of 3 degrees Celsius, high-latitude countries such as Canada, it agricultural harvest is likely to reach the peak. However, there will be 150 million to 550 million people face starvation due to decrease crop production threat. Increased 4 degrees Celsius, Africa's harvest could be as much as plummeted 35%, large part of regions can no longer grow crops, such as Australia. Increased 5 degrees Celsius, the acidic in ocean will increased, fish are likely to fall into danger. Rise above 5 degrees Celsius, the weather became so hot, in many parts of the world will no longer be suitable for the development of agriculture, emergence of a large number of environmental refugees.
With global warming, the southern countries are the most adversely, but agriculture in northern countries will get benefit from global warming. Decline in food production area is expected to be near the equator, the tropics of the land area suitable for agricultural production will be reduced. However, in the high latitudes of arable land area will be expanded. In other words, climate warming on the northern part of developed countries are the icing, while the south part of developing countries are the worst.
Global warming has brought a series of disasters. Especially those in high latitudes increased precipitation, floods become more frequent. The rainfall in Africa reduced in some areas. Some areas of extreme weather and climate events affect not only food crops, but also lead to reduce production. Such as El Nino, droughts, floods, thunderstorms, hail, high temperatures and sandstorms appear to increase the rate and intensity. And with the temperature become higher, the pest populations will increases. For example, in the summer the locusts come out, when the temperature higher, then the locusts will be more and more, it can take devastating damage to the grains.
Facing the agricultural crisis caused by global warming. In Asia, estimated in 2050 year, in Central, South, East and Southeast Asia, particularly in large river basins, fresh water available will be reduced. Because of the increased flooding from the oceans and the increased flooding from the rivers in some areas from the delta, large areas of agricultural land will be submerged. For example we see the China. In the latter half of this century, the wheat, corn and rice yield by drop production up to 37%. Evaporation of some continental rivers would increase by 15%, exacerbated the serious shortage of water resources for drinking and irrigation in China (Mark Jeantheau, 2007). In Chinaï¼Œmost of agriculture relies on two major rivers water resources which are Yangtze River and Yellow River. But in recent years, these two rivers always show the drought in red alert. This situation brought a serious impact for agricultural irrigation. Arid areas are a serious drop production.
However, in Africa, because of the situation of global warming, estimated in 2020 will have 75 million to 250 million people face the water stress due to climate change; and rain-fed agriculture would reduce production by up to 50%, including food access. Agricultural production in many African countries will be affected seriously. Estimated in 2080, arid and semi-arid regions of Africa will be increase of 5% -8%. The land desertification will be expansion and agricultural cultivation will become very difficult.
In Latin America, some important crop productivity will decline, the livestock productivity will be reduced, and food security has adverse consequences. Estimate of temperate regions of the soybean production will increase. Overall, estimate the number of people facing starvation risk will increase.
In North America, the small change of climate, the rain-fed agriculture will grow by 5% -20% yield, but there are important differences between regions. For example, the maple syrup production in the American northeast is suffering. The climate in which maple trees thrive is expected to move about two degrees (of latitude) north to Canada. Maple syrup production is already down by about 10% because of warmer and shorter winters. The snow pack in California's Sierra Mountains has been gradually declining for the last 50 years. It could ultimately be reduced by 60% to 90%.This will result in a very serious lack of water for Central Valley farmers during the summer months (James.N. 2007).
In Global warming, many of major food crops production are bound to decline in the world. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Stanford University are compared the six major food crops of wheat, rice, corn, soybeans, barley and sorghum production over the world. They found that conclusion each production decline 3% to 5 % and the level of temperature was increase of one degree. These six crops account for non-meat calories consumed at least 55%, exceed the world of animal feed more than 70% (Mark Jeantheau, 2007).
Global warming not only damage to agriculture, but also takes the followed series of problems.
In 2007, global food prices soared 40%. Since 2008, this trend was continues. Sudan, Haiti, Cameroon and other countries have broken out "food riots", causing heavy casualties. FAO refers to the latest statistics, records of meat, dairy products, cereals, oil, bulk and so on agricultural products (18.33, -0.31, -1.66%) of the world food price index in February. These indexes make a new high record of 20 years (FAOSTAT, 2011).The World Bank also said last year October to January in this year, the bank increased food price index by 15%. Food prices soaring lead 44million people must face the extreme poverty in developing countries (Worldbank, 2011).The world is facing a serious food crisis. WFP report shows that in January 2011, world food prices have exceed 2008 food crisis peak create the new highest record. This agency to buy totally amount food was increase of 22% over the previous year in 2010, the use of funds to reach 1.25 billion U.S. dollars. Compare with previous year was increase of 30%. And the wheat purchasing volume occupies buys food proportion 39%, but the funding has increased by 59%, the average price per ton of wheat rose from $ 218 up to $ 246, an increase of 12.8% (World Food Programme, 2011).Base on the database '2007-2008 world food price crisis'. It show that between 2006 and 2008 average world prices for rice rose by 217%, wheat by 136%, corn by 125% and soybeans by 107%ï¼ˆWikipedia, 2011. Mung beans, black beans and other grains prices have risen 80% to 100%, peanut prices rose by 30%, the current price of lotus was reached 39-40 dollar a pound. Food prices led to livestock feed price increases more than 30%, because of the high cost of farming, pastoralists have been declining. Including pork, beef, mutton and other meat prices have recently rose 20% to 30%. Poultry prices have gone up even more, before selling 0.99 dollar per pound of chicken wings, at now sold 1.49 to 2 dollar per pound. Prices are also rising for meat products. Dried pork, dried beef prices all rose more than 10%.
A global food price rising is based on the world food price rising, while food prices rising is mainly due to world food drop production. Global warming first will cause food shortages. Grain production reduction will means that people will increase demand, and supply cannot follow the demand, so that leading to higher food prices, soaring prices could lead to unrest in lots of countries around the world, unrest could lead to political instability, political instability will weaken the global economy. In 2010 to 2011, the global 77 economies impoverished and grain-deficient country, the grain import charges to increase 8% compared to the same period. Food prices rise has led to the government and people cannot afford in poor countries. The people of Mozambique for rose 30% of the price of bread go to parade, the Government was forced to withdraw prices raise order; Bolivia because of the food prices soaring triggered panic for buying wave of residents, in front of the every store were have long waiting queue, the food shelf was quickly became empty. Africa, South Asia, Central America and other regions more than 30 countries currently facing food crisis. Regarding because of discharged the more greenhouse gases to cause the global warming the wealthy Northern Hemisphere country, the global warming to their agriculture was possibly a good event. But should not have heavy responsible to global warming developing country people will actually fall into the hunger. These wealthy countries will be wealthier in the future, these question countries will be have to face the major problem. The poor people were sensitively to rises in prices, particularly these food net import country's poor people. According to accounts proportion computation for the respective income, similarly price food, calculated in poor people there must be much more expensive than the rich people. Perhaps at present global food rose in prices to the rich person still appeared very small, but speaking of the poor people, the grain price rise has caused their quality of life to have the great change. Such gap between rich and poor further magnifies. Because the international grain price rise pushes the high basic food price, in the development countries, the hungry population life cost rises largely. They are faces the survival crisis directly.
In conclusion, the influence between the global climate and the agriculture is inseparable. But the present global warming take a series of disasters, lead the agricultural product decline of production, the world grain supply cannot follow demand. The import-export trade also has big influence. Various countries store grains, lead to the price of major grain export country rising, brings the influence for economy of various countries. Food price rises, bring a series of questions. Various countries' government promotes the agricultural development positively, issues the agricultural subsidy, control food price and enhances the agricultural science and technology. Even some national promulgation non-exportation command, alleviates the harm which the domestic price rise. But is most basic is the climate. Solves this question means we start from basis --the environmental enhancement, slows down the warming. In order to protect our common homeland, saves uses each drop of fresh water, planting many kinds of tree to reduce speed the desertification, do not use the plastic tape again, do not throw the worn out battery at will, reduces the emissions of carbon dioxide, each person take care of the flowers and plants trees, positively propagandizes the protection environment.