The global warming and climate changes cause risks to food supply, in a world which is preparing in 2050 to reach 9.8 billion people. With 3.4 billion more mouths to feed, food demand will increase by 70% according to estimates by the United Nations. Forecasts certainly not rosy at a time when scientists expect the warmer climate will jeopardise entire crops by raising prices sky-high.
According to scientists, in many cases climate changes will reduce the regions where these crops will be able to grow. As a result, with lower bids their prices will become exorbitant. After all, how many of us would be willing to spend 30 Euro on a chocolate bar at the supermarket?
COFFEE AT RISK
Joking with the thermostat of the planet, as far as agriculture is concerned, will cause a worsening of drought and extreme weather conditions, which means a drastic drop in the yield of production. In the coming decades, not only will average crop yields go down, but prices will increase exponentially. By 2050, world coffee production could be halved.
According to a report by the Climate institute, some countries will no longer be able to continue to grow coffee due to the rise in temperature and irregular weather patterns. Although it is not a staple food in any diet, it is a great deal. Its wholesale value is around $100 billion. Coffee is grown in over 50 countries and is the second most traded product in the world after oil. Globally, more than 2.25 billion cups are consumed every day.
Like coffee, chocolate also grows better in certain environmental conditions: rich soil, humid climate, shaded areas. According to a recent study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, the increase in temperature by 2050 will make cocoa production areas in West Africa too hot to continue to grow precious beans. If preventive measures are not taken it is expected that prices will go through the roof as early as 2030.
In four decades, the amount of land available for cocoa cultivation has decreased by 40%. Over the next 40 years, the temperature in Ghana and Ivory Coast, where 70% cocoa is grown, is set to increase by 2 degrees. This will make the local climate too hot and dry for cocoa trees. What’s more, by 2020 global cocoa demand will exceed the supply of one million tons.
Environmental overheating, increases demand and production and leads to spikes in prices on different foods. In September 2017, New York restaurants went so far as to pay up to $100 for avocados, instead of about $68, due to high demand and a shortage of supplies from Mexico and California damaged by drought and extreme heat. According to a very recent study, extreme drought and heat waves caused by climate change could drastically reduce barley crops worldwide. As a result we will see a shortage of beer worldwide!!!
Same fate for tea, the second most popular drink in the world after, of course, water. Early research indicates that tea-growing regions could decrease in some parts of the world by up to 40-55% in the coming decades and qualities, particularly for high-end teas, suffer substantially.
The appeal does not even spare the wine, for which the major grape-producing countries could lose from 25% to 73% in arable land by 2050. Seas and oceans are also affected by the crazy climate, turned into an inhospitable sour soup for many species of molluscs and crustaceans. In the Pacific Northwest, for example, the oyster industry has already lost $ 110 million due to more corrosive water.
Globally, climate change could reduce the value of financial assets by $ 2.5 trillion , according to estimates by the London School of Economics. In the worst case scenarios, often used by regulators to monitor the financial health of companies and economies, losses could rise to 24 thousand billion.
THE SOLUTIONS ARE IN THE FIELDS
Over 2.5 billion people today make a living in the agricultural sector. Possible solutions include testing crops that can survive longer without water at high temperatures. Mars Inc, producer of m&m’s and Snickers, has invested $1 billion to put a stop to climate change. The goal is to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by more than 60 percent over the next 40 years. Part of the investment will be donated to a laboratory at the Berkeley University bioscience building, where the director of the plant genomics department Myeong-Je Cho intends to develop cocoa seedlings more resistant to unstable climates.
In essence, the world needs to produce more food by reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas production. Intelligent growth solutions, vertical agriculture, smart farms, genetic manipulations represent a partial response to the problem. A historical report on climate change from the UN scientific panel paints a disturbing picture of the immediate consequences of climate change, the irreversible effects of which will manifest itself much earlier than foreseen in the previous study carried out on the occasion of the Paris climate agreement of 2015. It remains to be seen whether at the annual meeting of the United Nations on climate change to be held in Poland in December the countries involved – excluding the United States – will be able to find an agreement on the rules for the implementation of the Paris agreement, which will enter into force in 2020.