- You Need to Know: How Climate Change Affects the Food System

I just wrote a piece for Plate Mag summarizing all the latest repots on climate change. Check it out here! And here's a snippet of what to expect:

Climate change may have significant impact on the food system. Crop and livestock will face new weeds, diseases, and insect pests, as the weather changes. Extreme heat and rains will also play an important role in the changing landscape of agriculture, as we are seeing with the drought in California, source of half of the country's produce. In 2011, a drought in Texas and Oklahoma caused more than $10 billion in direct losses to agriculture.

Unpredictable yield of the United States’ nearly $330 billion per year in agricultural commodities will, of course, challenge our food security with fluctuating crop prices.

And lets not forget about the fishes. Higher levels of CO2 in the air are increasing ocean acidity. In fact, “ocean surface waters have become 30% more acidic over the last 250 years as they have absorbed large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” notes the National Climate Assessment report. This makes the ocean a less friendly place for animals with shells or skeletons (i.e. crabs, oysters, clams). Plus, coral reefs are suffering from environmental changes, putting the ecosystem for many sea creatures out of whack.

Of course, there will be some benefits. For some farmers, warmer weather will result in a longer growing season. So at least there’s a win in here for someone!

Read on, here!