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Politics & Current Affairs

Climate Change Is Going to Wreak Havoc on World Agriculture

Climate change will hurt farmers, although not all equally. American farmers won't have it nearly as bad as African ones.

We already know that climate change will impact our world in a number of ways, but now we have much more information specific to climate change and agricultural production. The prognosis is not good. New economic research from MIT shows that climate change is going to hit farmers really hard — well some of them at least.


“Some groups are concerned that agriculture doesn’t appear to be a topic up for discussion at the upcoming Paris climate talks. Sidelining the issue, they argue, could ignore its importance in a climate change-impacted world.”

According to projections, many countries are expected to see at least a 10 percent decline in agricultural productivity due to climate change, including several in Africa. The United States, however, isn’t predicted to see nearly as much of a decrease in production. One can’t help but wonder whether that potential inequality could have political ramifications in the future.

The MIT study looked at 11 different possibilities of trade and internal food production under a climate change scenario. They wanted to know what would happen if countries couldn’t continue to grow all the same crops they do today. While it may seem that countries could decide to specialize in just a couple of crops and trade for the crops that they need, the model suggested that countries won’t be able to trade their way out of climate-related food hardship. The researchers say that the internal country response to a food shortage will be a more dominant factor than trade.

Worldwide, researchers predicted a one-sixth decline in agricultural production.


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