Climate change threatens global corn supplies

(ORDO NEWS) — Extreme weather events caused by climate change will hit global corn production.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in August that the world is heading towards dangerous climate change impacts that will globally affect lives and livelihoods.

A new report points out how food supplies will be affected when the planet is hit by extreme weather events.

A NASA-led study points to a growing likelihood of crop failures, wildfires and other dangers to society. The world is experiencing increasing heat waves, drought and excessive rainfall.

The study says that by 2100, the risk to the corn crop in at least three of the world’s six major corn-growing regions on Earth will double.

Climate change threatens global corn supplies 2

Research findings, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, warn that the US Midwest is at risk of losing crops.

The researchers studied the corn breadbasket regions of Central North America, Northeast Brazil, Southern South America, Central Europe, East Asia and South Asia, which account for about 55 percent of the world’s corn production.

The report states that “extreme thermal events lasting for three or more consecutive days are increasing by 100% to 300%.”

Climate scientists have been trying for years to understand and represent these complex chains of interacting events in climate models.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Colin Raymond led the study, which focused on how increased clustering of temperature and precipitation hazards would affect corn.

Event simulations have shown that by 2100, extreme heatwaves around the world lasting at least three days will occur two to four times as often as they do now. Three-day precipitation extremes will typically increase in frequency by 10% to 50%.

The researchers studied how all of these changes combined could affect future corn yields, using the relationship between heat and rainfall climate extremes and past crop failures as a guide.

“In their best estimate, the likelihood that a cluster of events will cause corn crops to be affected in at least three of the world’s breadbaskets in the same year, and by 2100 will almost double from 29% to 57%,” NASA said.

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