How Will Climate Change Affect Agriculture

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How Will Climate Change Affect Agriculture – While much of the world is focused on transitioning away from fossil fuels as a way to combat climate change, there is another often overlooked culprit of climate change: animal agriculture and its environmental impacts. Livestock farming is the second largest contributor to human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, after fossil fuels, and is a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution, and biodiversity loss.

Livestock farming places a heavy burden on Earth’s finite land, water and energy resources. To accommodate the 70 billion animals raised for human consumption every year, one-third of the planet’s ice-free land surface and nearly sixteen percent of global freshwater are used for animal husbandry. Furthermore, one third of the world’s grain production is used to feed animals. By 2050, consumption of meat and dairy products is expected to increase by 76 and 64 percent respectively, which increases the burden on the industry. Cattle are by far the largest source of emissions from livestock production, with a recent study showing that beef consumption in the average American diet produces 1,984 pounds of CO2e each year. Replacing beef with vegetables would reduce that number by 96% and reduce CO2e to just 73 pounds.

How Will Climate Change Affect Agriculture

How Will Climate Change Affect Agriculture

A widely cited 2013 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Combating Climate Change through Livestock, estimates that about 14.5 percent of global GHG emissions, or 7.1 gigatons of CO2 equivalent, are attributed to the livestock sector and can be linked annually. . This is roughly equivalent to the emissions from fuels burned by all the world’s transport vehicles, including cars, trucks, trains, ships and planes.

Challenges Faced Due To Climate Change By Present Day Farmers

Furthermore, air and water pollution is directly attributable to the livestock sector, which is the largest contributor to global water pollution. The livestock industry is also one of the main drivers of global deforestation and is linked to 75% of historical deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Almost a third of biodiversity loss can be attributed to animal agriculture. Adding to water and air pollution, global animal agriculture produces seven to nine times more sewage than humans, much of which goes untreated. They also release pesticides, antibiotics and heavy metals into water systems.

Concentrated livestock operations pose additional public health risks to surrounding communities, as viral diseases can be transmitted from sick animals to humans, and increased use of antibiotics encourages antibiotic resistance. Irresponsible manure management in high-volume facilities risks aerosolizing feces that can reach nearby homes and cause respiratory problems. Livestock waste can seep through the soil and reach groundwater, which can then contaminate nearby streams and rivers with nitrates and pathogens.

Global greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock sector increased by 51 percent between 1961 and 2010, driven by a 54 percent increase in methane and nitrous oxide emissions from manure. Furthermore, approximately one gigaton of carbon dioxide equivalent in animal feed is wasted worldwide each year.

If global consumption of meat and dairy products continues to grow at its current rate, agriculture could consume about 70 percent of the allowable budget for total greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. To achieve the global objective of limiting warming to 2°C, annual emissions must be reduced from the current level of 49 gigatons of CO2 to around 23 gigatons by 2050. Of these gigatons, 20 gigatons would be used for agriculture, leaving only three for the remaining. World economy.

Climate Change And Agriculture

The GHG intensity of the average Western diet can be halved by adopting a plant-based diet. Agricultural emissions can also be limited through smarter animal husbandry, technological oversight of fertilizer application, simple changes in field layout, and other more efficient farming techniques. Groups like Solutions from the Land are working with US farmers to find ways to reduce emissions without sacrificing production, and the US Department of Agriculture has created Climate Centers to help farmers adapt to and mitigate climate change . Meanwhile, international groups such as the International Consortium of Agricultural Researchers and the International Food Policy Research Institute are carrying out pioneering research to determine how climate change will affect farmers and what they can do about it. The food we eat is closely related to the quality of farmland and the air that surrounds it. This causes the climate to affect all of our food, and this relationship is currently undesirable.

With agriculture, the impact of climate change becomes personal as our diet begins to change. How agriculture affects climate change

Map A shows the global distribution and intensity of agricultural cultivation (red) and livestock grazing (green), and map B shows regional changes in soil carbon stocks since 10,000. Most regions lost, rather than gained, carbon emissions. (Source)

How Will Climate Change Affect Agriculture

Topsoil contains about 3 times more carbon than the atmosphere, making it a significant carbon sink. How climate change affects agriculture

How Climate Change Is Changing Farming

Therefore, it is important for everyone to realize that climate change is not a distant or distant future where all glaciers will melt. While they already did

Melting, climate change for most people takes the form of life changes that will affect our diet and lifestyle and we will be forced to pay a premium to preserve them as before.

Priya Aggarwal works in clean technology and writes about climate change and the environment. The agri-food industry contributes significantly to climate change. Thus, the consequences of climate change are felt throughout the world, and especially on our plates. Climate change, such as extreme weather conditions, directly affects the supply and demand chain and has a significant impact on food production. An increase in temperature is expected in some areas and a lack of precipitation in others, and these fluctuations will alter the production of agricultural crops. The food industry will see changes depending on how quickly climate change occurs. If change is gradual, the sociopolitical and economic climate will have time to adjust. In some areas, however, even small changes in temperature can have devastating effects on agriculture, forestry and biodiversity.

Plants are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature. As plants flower or fruit, they can change, especially when exposed to changes in temperature. When these changes occur, the summer growing season of plants can be significantly shortened. Some crops, such as potatoes, soybeans, rice, corn and wheat, have ideal growing seasons and temperatures. Any changes to these environments and the harvest will fail.

How Climate Change Impact Agriculture And What We Can Do About It

Water is perhaps the most limiting factor in plant growth worldwide. Adequate water is essential for growing crops, especially fruits. Many of the world’s crops are artificially irrigated, resulting in large amounts of fossil fuels. Irrigating a hectare of corn with water requires twice as much energy as irrigating the same crop with rain.

CO2 emissions have reduced our planet’s protective ozone layer. On average, every 1% reduction in the ozone layer leads to a 2% increase in ultraviolet radiation. Both crops and special animals are very sensitive to radiation damage. In perspective, a 25% reduction in the ozone layer could reduce soybean production by 20%.

CO2 in the atmosphere has been increasing for 60 years. Higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can increase photosynthesis, the main component of plant growth, so plants are larger and contain more carbohydrates. Bread and baked goods form the basis of many diets around the world. But while some plants benefit from high levels of carbon dioxide (grains like soybeans and wheat), others do not (corn). Unfortunately, studies show that the nutritional and health values ​​of crops or plants grown under high levels of CO2 are significantly reduced. Therefore, as the level of CO2 increases, the nutrient content of food is expected to decrease, which will affect the health of our population.

How Will Climate Change Affect Agriculture

As global temperatures rise, so do insect populations, especially pests. The pests thrive and multiply in warm, humid environments, with increased reproduction rates in Africa and the United States. These insects and crop feeders subsequently attack the crop and increase yield loss. Depending on the crop, pests can cause an increase in damage of up to 25%. Weeds are another problem that can affect agriculture. Since weeds and other plant pests are more resistant to climate change, they thrive and fight for moisture, better exposure, nutrients and light. On the bright side, insects and insects are being used more frequently to create alternative protein sources.

Impacts Of Climate Change On Agriculture ?

Plants and bees co-evolved, which is why bees are extremely important to the health of the planet. Recent climate changes are affecting the flowering and pollination cycle of flowers. Different species of bees are the most important pollinators of agricultural and wild plants. Pesticides, mites, chemicals and temperature changes are likely linked to the deaths of large numbers of honey bee colonies.

Climate change, such as temperature, humidity, pests, weeds, diseases and increased CO2 emissions, will reduce food production around the world. Yields of crops such as rice, wheat and corn will decline as they respond to rising global temperatures. To hold

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