Warmer Temps May Reduce Crops Yields in China

09 Sep

In a recent paper published in the journal Nature, Chinese scientists warn that rising temperatures in China could accelerate evapo-transpiration and limit freshwater supplies for agriculture.  This in turn could translate to reduced crop yields potentially by 13% by 2050.

China is faced with a daunting food challenge that has been getting worse as the population expands.  The nation posseses only 7% of global arable land, but must feed 22% of the world’s people.  Its per capita water supplies are only 25% of the world’s average levels.  China’s northern regions hold 18% of total water supplies and 65% of the nation’s arable land, but the climate in those areas has become drier over the years.

By the end of 2015, China’s population is expected to reach 1.39 billion, requiring a 4 million ton increase in annual grain supply over the next decade, but according to the Nature article, water limitations may reduce rice yields by 4 to 14%, wheat by 2 to 20% and corn by 0 to 23% by the middle of this century.

China’s agriculture minister acknowledges the nation faces a “formidable task” in meeting food demand in the face of growing resource scarcity.

Read more here…

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Posted by on September 9, 2010 in Agriculture, Climate Change, Water


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