Researchers have applied 23 global climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to estimate end-of-century temperatures. Their conclusions with regard to agriculture are sobering.
Their findings, published in the latest edition of journal ‘Science’, predicted that countries lying in the equatorial belt, from about 35 degrees north latitude to 35 degrees south latitude-in which major third-world countries, will face major food shortage because of their rapidly increasing populations and declining food production.
The study concludes that there is a more than 90% probability that by 2100, the lowest “growing-season” temperatures in the tropics and subtropics will be higher than any temperature recorded till date.
In the tropics, high temperature can be expected to cut yields of the primary food crops, maize and rice, by 20% - 40%. Rising temperatures are also likely to play havoc with soil moisture, cutting crop yields even further.