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    Today, the United States spends $218 billion a year growing, processing, transporting, and disposing of food that is never eaten. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce food waste.Click here to read IFT Achievement Awardee Edward Hirschberg’s solution for how we can address food loss due to poor transportation and storage. Link available in bio or copy/paste this link: http://bit.ly/IFTFoodWaste Today, we are celebrating women in science for International Women's Day! The International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. These particular five women have been at the forefront of some of today’s most complex and controversial scientific issues including genetic engineering and lab-grown meat. In addition to highlighting their work, these interviews explore the influence of gender in food and science. Click link in bio #IWD2017 #internationalwomensday #womeninstem #foodscience http://hubs.ly/H06wKB60 Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted. Fruits and vegetables have the highest wastage rates of any food. What can we do with spilled, wilted, blemished produce? Click here to read IFT Achievement Awardee Edward Hirschberg’s solution for bringing life back to the "ugly" lettuce. Link available in bio or copy and paste the following to view solution: http://bit.ly/IFTFoodWaste #Repost @hanna_instruments ・・・
The Hanna Texas team had a great time at @iftfoodscience's Lunch & Learn at @nasajohnson on 2/23. Hanna USA proudly sponsored this event featuring a talk by @nasa scientist Dr. Shannon Walker, a tour of the food lab facility, and behind-the-scenes tour of Mission Control! Thank you again to IFT and NASA for an incredible event.

Implications of Climate Change on Food Crops

In a recent study, Wolfram Schlenker and I set out to develop a better statistical model linking weather and U.S. crop yields for corn, soybeans, and cotton—the largest three crops in the U.S. in production value. Corn and soybeans are of particular interest because they are really important for global food prices and the U.S. contributes about 40% of the world’s production of these crops, and a much larger share of world exports for these crops. The goal was to find the causal links between observed climate and yields so that we might predict how yields will change as the climate changes.

The novelty of our work is that it carefully accounts for variation in temperatures over time and space. This contrasts with earlier studies that compare yields to average weather outcomes, like average temperature. The problem with averages is that they dilute nonlinearities—effects of the extremes—that are clearly important for crop growth and yield.

Our major new finding is that extreme heat is critical to yield outcomes. A key measure of extreme heat is given by how much temperatures exceed about 29°C (84°F) during the growing season. The threshold varies somewhat by crop—29°C (84°F) for corn, 30°C (86°F) for soybeans, and 32°C (90°F) for cotton. Below the threshold, warmer temperatures are more beneficial for yields; damages stemming from temperatures much above the threshold can be staggeringly large.

Another important finding is that the non-linear relationship between weather and yields across time in a fixed location is nearly an identical match to the non-linear relationship found when comparing weather distributions and yields across locations with different climates. This indicates farmers in southern areas have been unable to adapt to their warmer climates.

When we use the estimated relationship to predict yield outcomes under projected climate change scenarios, we find that between 2070 and 2099 nationwide average yields on corn, soybeans, and cotton are projected to fall 30–46% under the slowest Hadley III warming scenario and 63–82% under the fastest Hadley III warming scenario. Predicted declines are substantial even in the more immediate future (2020–2049).

What are the implications of these dramatic findings? Well, it’s hard to tell. The results should provide good motivation for seed companies and plant scientists to develop more heat tolerant plants. Some think CO2 fertilization will offset a large portion of losses from climate change. But it also seems clear that farmers will want to change the kinds of crops they grow and possibly their planting dates. It’s also possible gains in cooler parts of the world will offset losses in the U.S. The extent to which new areas become arable will determine how crop prices will change. To me, the inescapable conclusion is that the magnitude of climate changes currently anticipated will cause the face of agriculture worldwide to change dramatically. And to some extent this is true regardless of whether or not we markedly reduce CO2 emissions in the near future.

Wolfram Schlenker and Michael Roberts’ study entitled “Nonlinear temperature effects indicate severe damages to U.S. crop yields under climate change” is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). View abstract. View his blog post on the study.

Michael RobertsMichael J. Roberts
Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics
North Carolina State University
Publisher of Greed, Green and Grains

One Response

  1. very carefully

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