Food Prices to Rise 40 Percent, Study Says
OK, so not only is climate change killing off adorable polar bears (nooooo), but it's also messing with our food system?
A new study published in the journal Climate Change found that the overall effect of climate change could reduce food production by 0.5 percent by the end of the decade. Even scarier? Food production could decrease by 2.3 percent mid-century.
Price wise, this means that the cost of staple foods like sugar, wheat, and grains could increase by 40 percent. Fruits and vegetables could be 30 percent more expensive; rice, 20 percent.
The study took into consideration the effects of changes in precipitation, temperature, CO2, river flow, and land area. "Often the impacts of climate on food and water are treated separately, but really the interaction is very important as agriculture is one of the dominant consumers of freshwater," Dr. Andy Wiltshire, co-author, told Carbon Brief. An increase in carbon dioxide, one of the main sources of food, could help increase plant production, but a change in temperature would have a larger effect on depleting crops (see: droughts). So the future? Looking bleak. Let's all drive electric cars.