The heatwave and food production

in #busy4 years ago

Europe has been on fire this summer as the following map from a few days ago shows:

And it's not just Europe - North America and Japan have been suffering heatwaves as well as parts of Russia and China.

This has affected the production of temperature sensitive crops like wheat and barley.

Denmark has announced that the drought will have reduced their wheat, barley and rye crop by 40%. Meanwhile the German harvest is the worst in 24 years, reducing output by 20%. For the first time in decades, Germany will not have produced enough to meet it's own needs and may need to import wheat.

Ukraine, which is the world's fifth largest wheat producer has decided to limit exports, due to the drought, to ensure they have enough for themselves. The news sent world-wide wheat prices soaring.

Meanwhile in the southern hemishere, New South Wales, Australia is experiencing it's worst drought in 400 years, which has left cattle and sheep in danger as they can't forage enough food to eat.

As a result, food prices look like they are going to soar for wheat, barley, rye and any meat that requires a lot of feed (beef, lamb, pork). Only the American soy crop looks like it will be a big one, and they may be able to sell their crop to Europeans desperate for animal feed.

What does this mean for food security going forward?

As the climate warms, we might have to look at the types of food we eat. Cereal crops are very senstive to temperatures, whereas root crops are less so. So we may have to end up eating less bread and more potatoes and turnips. As for meat - because it relies on grain for feed, it might be the first food to end up getting priced off people's dinner tables.

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