Global Food Supply Expected to be Dwindle Due to Climate Crisis
A report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued dire warnings regarding the global food supply. As the climate crisis continues to ensue, food will become scarcer, while grocery prices will increase and crops will lose nutritional value.
Already, farmers are having to change what kinds of crops they can plant and grow. Some climates are becoming too hot, and with increased flooding, snow, and humidity, viable crop selections are dwindling.
For the crops that are plantable, the report says the quantitative nutritional value could also decline. The wheat from climates with higher carbon dioxide levels contains 6-13% less protein, 4-7% less zinc, and 5-8% less iron, according to experiments run on crop samples. With brutal heat waves battering areas of the U.S. as well as Europe, global food systems are already under strain.
Though millions still struggle with food scarcity, we have made considerable progress in limiting the food crisis. In 1990, it was estimated 1.01 billion people did not have readily accessible food, but by 2015, that number had dwindled to 80.5 million, according to the US Department of Agriculture. With the looming climate crisis, we could see a regression in the progress we have made.
The climate crisis is affecting regions of the world in different ways. Areas like Europe, Southern Africa, South Asia, and Australia are also seeing significant negative impacts on food production. The U.S. is also experiencing a reduction of corn crops in areas around the midwest.
Food insecurity has been a rarity for the better part of the 21st century, but the number of households that do not have access to adequate and nutritious food sources continues to increase. In 2017, 15 million American households experienced food insecurity, and with the climate crisis in full swing, households everywhere could continue to suffer from lack of nutritious food.