Whether climate change can affect our food habits and health or not is an ongoing debate. Timely, the researches evaluating the consequences of climate change on impairing our health shows varying certainties.
Researches worked on identifying the wrath of climate changes highlight its impacts on deteriorating the food quantity as well as its quality. Notable amongst these climate changes are higher temperature levels, droughts, extreme weather conditions, and rise in sea levels.
A similar conclusion has been drawn by a recent research work on global production of vegetable and legumes. This study highlights that if the greenhouse gas emissions exhibit the same trajectory as it is now, by 2100, global food production might fall down by 35 percent. The prime factors contributing to this statistics shall be a scarcity of available water resources and a higher level of salts in it.
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With a further increase in global temperature (say around 4 degrees), the corn production in the United States might decrease to half of its present value. Further, if the rise in global temperature is limited up to 2 degrees, there would be still a decrease of 18 percent in the corn production.
How weather extremes and climate changes can affect our food habits and health?
Statistically, around 80 percent of the global crop is based on rainfall. As the Earth’s temperature rise, it holds more amount of moisture. Further, this leads to an intense precipitation phenomenon. This extensive precipitation also leads to direct crop damage and decreases the overall yields.
Flood water (due to tropical storms) can bring in more amounts of sewage and road pollutants to drain into farms. In this way, toxins and pathogens start building up in our food chain.
Further, hotter weather is one of the primary reasons for the depletion of groundwater reserves. This groundwater table depletion is giving rise to a slow pressure built up on the food production.
The heat stresses are further related to disrupting overall rate of a plant’s ability to pollinate, flower, develop roots and undergo further growing stages. Heat waves are also causing the live stocks to proceed ahead to the infertile phase thereby making it more prone to diseases.
National Academy of Sciences Report (2011) highlighted the negative impacts of every degree rise in global temperature to be associated with a decrease in crop productivity (by 5 to 15 percent).
These are some of the research findings on how climate change can affect our food habits and health.