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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Climate #Crisis Could Lead To #Food Shortages

“If we don’t cut greenhouse gas emissions, we are in very serious trouble,” says Rivington, “but other tactics must happen together at the same time.”  

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Will Climate Change Cause Food Sources to Dwindle?

May 14, 2019 -- Record-breaking floodwaters engulfed the plains of Nebraska in March. As-yet-untold crops, livestock, and farmlands were lost in the disaster. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture estimates that the value of the lost crops and livestock will surpass $800 million.
Nebraska’s main crops include cattle, corn, soybeans, wheat, and dry beans. The state’s estimate of losses does not include the cost of lost livelihood to the many farmers who don’t know when they will be able to farm their land again.
While the floodwaters in the Plains have begun to recede, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that historic, widespread flooding, worsened by above-average snowfall and spring rain, will continue through May.
The heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods that have become the norm in recent years have serious implications for the food supply:

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  • Extreme heat, floods, and droughts can damage crops and make yields smaller.
  • Warmer winters cause premature budding that leads to crop loss.
  • Heat waves threaten livestock, too. Continued exposure to extreme heat can make animals more likely to get disease and cut fertility and milk production.
  • Specific crops face specific dangers. A new study, for example, has found that climate change has helped to spread a fungus that could destroy 80% of banana crops.
  • Higher rainfall from spikes in humidity in a warmer climate leads to loss of soil carbon, which is crucial for plants.



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