Food and Global Warming

  by Jack Penland  |  January 8th, 2009  |  Published in All, Environment, Featured

 |  Stumble |  Share on Facebook |  Tweet This | 

Half the world’s population could be facing a food crisis by the end of the century due to global warming. That’s the grim assessment of scientists who looked at projections of global warming’s impact on the average temperatures during the growing season.

[If you cannot see the flash video below, you can click here for a high quality mp4 video.]

Interviewee: David Battisti, University of Washington
Produced by Jack Penland — Edited by Jack Penland and James Eagan
Copyright © ScienCentral, Inc.
courtesy Act Now Productions/Pacific Institute

Human Impact

The report shows that by 2100, rising temperatures will have a significant impact upon crop yields, most noticeably in the tropics and sub tropics. David Battisti, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington says, “You’re talking about very large reductions in yields, on the order of 20, 30, 40 percent.”

Battisti says that in those most affected areas, “The odds are greater than 90 percent that they (temperatures) will exceed anything ever observed.”

He and Rosamond L. Naylor, associate professor of economics at Stanford University, used projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) . Those projections earned IPCC a share of the Nobel Prize along with former Vice-President Al Gore.

The researchers used the IPCC computer models to show climate change for the rest of this century and broke the projected temperatures down to averages for each season in various parts of the world. Since average summers can be either hotter or cooler than usual, the seasonal averages form a bell-like curve, with normal years forming the bulk of the center curve and cold and warm years at either end. The researchers took the projected seasonal averages and moved the middle of that curve accordingly. In the tropics, where the averages don’t change much, the researchers found that the low end of the new curve was higher than the high end of the current curve.

Also on ScienCentral

Warming and Rice 07.13.04
Research into the impact of global warming is showing rice crop yields could be hurt by warmer nighttime temperatures.

Trees and Forests Show Stress from Global Warming 12.23.08
With the help of a more hospitable climate, tiny beetles are doing damage to forests you think only fires could do.

No Fish by 2050 11.02.06
Unless practices change, there will be no viable ocean fishing in the next 40 to 50 years.

Insurance-Global Warming 10.11.05
Insurance companies already are figuring global warming into how they do business.

Climates in the higher latitudes also show dramatic change. In their report, published in the journal, “Science,” Battisti and Naylor describe changes in temperatures in France. “The warmest on record to date so far, the odds are 50-50 basically that that’s going to be the (average) temperature in the summer at the end of the century.” That’s significant because the warmest summer on record was in 2003, when anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 deaths in Europe were blamed on the heat.

Too much of a good thing

While warm weather at the right time can kick start growth, a hotter than average summer for the entire season is not good for plants. In their report the researchers noted that during that same 2003 European heat wave, “Italy experienced a record drop in maize yields of 36% from a year earlier, whereas in France maize and fodder production fell by 30%, fruit harvests declined by 25% and wheat harvests…declined by 21%.” Maize is any of several varieties of corn.

Other studies have looked at the impact of a warmer climate on key crops. One study found that increased average night temperatures will adversely impact rice crops.

However, it is in the developing countries that Battisti sees the greatest urgency for finding a solution. He says that in those areas by the end of the century, “You should expect large reductions in yields.” What’s worse, he points out that these areas “already need food today,” with a billion malnourished people. Battisti says the area’s economy is also a problem, noting, “There’s not many options in this case in terms of changing what you grow or investing in new technologies because these places are relatively poor today.”

The authors say that among the solutions that need to be explored are finding varieties of today’s crops that will withstand future growing conditions.

Of the climate itself, Battisti says, "In a sense you can say that the climate of the end of this century is really out of bounds from any experiences to date."

This study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Tamaki Foundation and appears in the January 9, 2009 issue of the journal “Science."

Elsewhere on the Web:

Program for Food Security and the Environment

ABC News-Global Warming Could Slam Food Supply

 |  Stumble |  Share on Facebook |  Tweet This | 


  1. eva sorensen says:

    April 14th, 2009 at 8:40 pm (#)

    Thanhs ever so much,great help for my students science projecton food & global warming.

  2. Sarae Madron says:

    April 17th, 2009 at 1:17 pm (#)

    That is so sad. I wish I could find a way to help them.

  3. Warming Walden | ScienCentral | Science Videos | Science News says:

    April 23rd, 2009 at 3:45 pm (#)

    [...] Food and Global Warming 1.08.09 [...]

  4. Kent Thompson says:

    July 11th, 2009 at 3:17 pm (#)

    I am running for President in 2012 on a Green Platform I would like to incorporate your video Interviewee: David Battisti, University of Washington
    Produced by Jack Penland — Edited by Jack Penland and James Eagan
    Copyright © ScienCentral, Inc.
    courtesy Act Now Productions/Pacific Institute

    This would be very helpful in convincing people of the critical nature that Global Warming will have on our food supply.

  5. Zen and the art of planetary maintenance « Greenfyre’s says:

    August 17th, 2009 at 10:35 pm (#)

    [...] climate that permits agriculture and which is under imminent and serious threat (here, here, here,  here and [...]

  6. Climate Deniers demand Stalinist style political show trial « Greenfyre’s says:

    August 27th, 2009 at 11:15 pm (#)

    [...] expect that if we do not act now that hundreds of millions more will die of starvation (see here, here, here and here). The CoC may not be intending to have anyone executed, but they are condemning [...]

  7. gufran says:

    August 30th, 2009 at 9:13 pm (#)

    this article help me in my lesson of climate change

  8. Bodydetoxguy says:

    October 2nd, 2009 at 2:28 am (#)

    the effect of Global Warming these days is even worst. i think every government should pass stricter laws on Carbon Emissions. we should also concentrate more on renewable energy sources and avoid fossil fuels.

  9. gabrielle says:

    October 2nd, 2009 at 10:40 pm (#)

    this helps me alot of global warming. That people shouldn’t eat meat well because we are distorying

  10. La Meteorologia e la Climatologia NON sono la stessa cosa « Follia Quotidiana says:

    December 24th, 2009 at 12:56 pm (#)

    [...] sarà proprio il riscaldamento climatico ad aggravare la crisi alimentare… Lascia un [...]

  11. Alicia Meyer says:

    February 14th, 2010 at 11:23 pm (#)

    Global Warming and Climate Change is the biggest environmental issue that we face these days. the long term effects of these environmental changes to a nations economy is quite damaging. there would be a shortage in food supply as well as on water supply too.

  12. Henry says:

    June 4th, 2010 at 8:12 pm (#)

    Hey, nice stuff.. Keep it up.

  13. Zen And The Art Of Planetary Maintenance | NEWS JUNKIE POST says:

    July 19th, 2010 at 4:19 pm (#)

    [...] climate that permits agriculture and which is under imminent and serious threat (here, here, here, here and [...]

  14. Microwave Cart · says:

    November 8th, 2010 at 6:44 am (#)

    global warming is a disaster that we should avoid at all cost but i am afraid that we are too late already *

  15. Corrinne Stahly says:

    November 24th, 2010 at 12:38 pm (#)

    I hope you will keep writing new content constantly as you have one dedicated visitor here.

  16. Steve Corsello says:

    December 20th, 2010 at 10:00 am (#)

    Wow: …. In light of reflecting back over 2010 and retrospecting back to November of 2009 what has the truth revealed? After all, are our social causes motivated for the sake of the truth predicated upon its own merit for the good of society, or based on our own personal opinion based upon our own personal conviction? Climategate is a shocking reality that exposes how politicians and scientists conspire together to justify a lie on the premise of a blinding pride that assumes they are smarter than everyone else and therefore possess the moral right to enact legislation in the service of a lie. This destroys civility. It doesn’t promote it. Climategate is a wake-up call and reminder to all of us to examine our own moral compass. Climategate has helped to clearly delineate and reveal the clear distinction between the causes of international social justice vs. the preservation of Constitutional individual justice. Climategate has become a major scandal, not least Professor Philip Jone’s, (the CRU’s director),refusal to release the basic data from which the CRU (Climatic Research Unit), derives its hugely influential temperature record. Remember how this culminated then in the summer of 2008 in his startling claim that much of the data from all over the world had simply got “lost”. Most incriminating of all are the emails in which scientists were advised to actually delete large chunks of data, which, when this is done after receipt of a freedom of information request, is a criminal offense. So how do we together account for and describe the scandal revealed by the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit now a year ago? The significance that answers to this question cannot be overestimated. Why? Because what we are looking at here is a small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide Progressionist’s alarm over global warming more so than any other group, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)and the US Progressionist movement in Congress. So as a concerned environmentalist who is also concerned for the truth based upon its own merit (as any consistent scientist should be), I concur, it is appropriate to take action to ‘help’ the environment … but I ask you to consider this: in light of the majority of scientific data that points to the fact that global warming is caused by the Sun, then how will a tax on carbon emissions help to stop it? How does us driving cars cause climate change on Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Neptune and Triton? Can politicians like Al Gore and harry Reed please fill me in on this? If CO2 increases as a RESULT of temperature increases, then how can we hope to accomplish anything by taxing emissions? That’s like saying we will prevent the process of humans ageing by dying their grey hairs. It’s not grey hair that causes people to age; it’s ageing that causes grey hair. And nothing that you do to your hair will have any affect on how long you live. Especially since ageing is a natural process that cannot be stopped and has always occurred and will always occur. Just like climate change. American exceptionalism really is not our enemy. It is our innovative friend if we will let it be.

  17. Mona Dhar says:

    June 13th, 2011 at 6:29 am (#)

    Thanks for your posting. What I want to comment on is that when you are evaluating a good online electronics store, look for a internet site with total information on important factors such as the security statement, basic safety details, payment methods, and also other terms and also policies. Usually take time to look into the help in addition to FAQ segments to get a better idea of how the shop performs, what they are capable of doing for you, and just how you can take full advantage of the features.

  18. mobile landing page says:

    July 15th, 2011 at 1:25 pm (#)

    It’s best to participate in a contest for the most effective blogs on the web. I’ll advocate this website!

  19. chiropractor denver says:

    August 8th, 2011 at 3:56 pm (#)

    It is extremely helpful for me. Big thumbs up for this blog post!

  20. projektowanie stron www says:

    September 19th, 2011 at 1:03 am (#)

    I believe other website proprietors should take this internet site as an model, very clean and fantastic user pleasant layout.

  21. Richelle Genung says:

    December 7th, 2011 at 3:41 am (#)

    I have learned result-oriented things through your blog post. One other thing I have recognized is that usually, FSBO sellers will reject a person. Remember, they will prefer not to use your companies. But if you actually maintain a gentle, professional connection, offering assistance and being in contact for around four to five weeks, you will usually be capable to win a conversation. From there, a listing follows. Many thanks

  22. THOMAS says:

    December 18th, 2011 at 10:48 pm (#)

    Keep up the good work. Your web site was educational.

  23. boots price says:

    January 7th, 2012 at 4:51 am (#)

    I’lwant to consult you here. Which isn’t some thing Which i do! I enjoy reading a post that can make folks feel. Also, appreciate your permitting me to comment!

  24. online betting guide says:

    January 13th, 2012 at 6:16 am (#)

    This is actually the type of information I’ve been looking for. Thanks for writing this information.

  25. Samsung Monte Allegro says:

    January 17th, 2012 at 4:57 pm (#)

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my website thus i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  26. Gathering » Archive » Taking Action on Depleting Food Resource says:

    February 15th, 2012 at 11:18 am (#)

    [...] Penland, Jack. Science Central. “Food and Global Warming.” 8 January 2009. 12 July 2011 <>. [...]

  27. Terina Sablan says:

    March 20th, 2012 at 9:43 am (#)

    Some times its a pain in the ass to read what website owners wrote but this website is real user friendly ! .

  28. Morris Devinney says:

    March 21st, 2012 at 9:21 am (#)

    I conceive other website proprietors should take this web site as an example , very clean and great user genial design .

  29. Mariano Deconti says:

    March 23rd, 2012 at 1:51 pm (#)

    I am not really wonderful with English but I find this really leisurely to interpret .

  30. Frank Grow says:

    April 2nd, 2012 at 8:16 am (#)

    I real pleased to find this web site on bing, just what I was looking for : D too saved to fav.

  31. Cary Dawkins says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 8:50 am (#)

    Great post, I conceive people should learn a lot from this web site its rattling user pleasant.

  32. wszytsko o morzu bałtyckim says:

    April 16th, 2012 at 9:23 am (#)

    Sweet web site , super style and design , real clean and apply genial .

  33. wulkanizacja giszowiec says:

    April 27th, 2012 at 9:22 am (#)

    I believe this internet site contains some real excellent information for everyone : D.

  34. Peg Loncaric says:

    May 2nd, 2012 at 6:59 pm (#)

    Its great as your other content : D, thankyou for putting up. “A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost.” by Ferdinand Foch.

  35. Edgardo Lamberson says:

    July 19th, 2012 at 6:03 am (#)

    Great post, I conceive people

  36. Darrel Cassara says:

    July 30th, 2012 at 8:23 am (#)

    I believe this site contains some really great information for everyone : D.

  37. Syble Fingado says:

    August 1st, 2012 at 9:27 am (#)

    I enjoy reading and I believe this website got some genuinely useful stuff on it! .

  38. Maple says:

    December 1st, 2012 at 4:52 pm (#)

    Thanks for sharing such a pleasant idea, paragraph is good, thats
    why i have read it entirely

  39. sales coach says:

    January 14th, 2013 at 9:08 pm (#)

    This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post.
    Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  40. Telephone sales training says:

    January 14th, 2013 at 9:45 pm (#)

    This site really has all the information and facts
    I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  41. Kaye Malenke says:

    March 6th, 2013 at 3:55 pm (#)

    I found your blog via a Yahoo query and I have to compliment you on it. There’s so much useful information here. You’ve just won yourself a regular reader.

  42. Robben Island says:

    March 8th, 2013 at 3:01 am (#)


  43. מתכונים שנראים טעימים | אוכל ומוסר says:

    March 27th, 2013 at 8:51 am (#)

    [...] חסכמים כדי שישראל תמשיך להיות פה. ואם חושבים על כך שההתחממות הגלובלית עלולה לגרום למשבר מזון עבור חצי מאוכלוסית העולם עד סוף המאה, קיצוץ [...]

  44. quality content says:

    April 17th, 2013 at 5:45 am (#)

    I got this web site from my pal who shared with me regarding
    this site and at the moment this time I am visiting this web site
    and reading very informative articles at this time.

  45. 3g mobile hotspot app remove says:

    April 19th, 2013 at 10:27 am (#)

    Hello! I simply would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the great info you’ve right here on this
    post. I shall be coming back to your weblog for more soon.

  46. leather business card case coach says:

    May 6th, 2013 at 3:28 am (#)

    Good day! I simply would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the great information
    you’ve got here on this post. I can be coming
    again to your weblog for more soon.

  47. Deneen Gershon says:

    May 7th, 2013 at 10:38 pm (#)

    I comment once i like a guide on a web-site or if I’ve something to add towards the conversation. Usually it is a result in the passion communicated in the post I browsed. And after this write-up Audi A6 3.0 TDI quattro Consumption and Costs | Cars Show. I had been essentially moved enough to article a leave a responsea response I do possess a few of questions for you if it’s okay. Could it be just me or does it seem like like a few of your remarks search as when they are written by brain dead folks? And, if you are writing on additional places, I’d like to keep up with you. Would you come up with a list the complete urls of your general public pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  48. sales test says:

    May 14th, 2013 at 12:08 am (#)

    Hey there, You have done a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my
    friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this website.

  49. never cold call again achieve sales greatness without cold calling says:

    May 15th, 2013 at 5:47 pm (#)

    First off I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had
    a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.
    I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Cheers!

  50. Diego Kaemingk says:

    May 28th, 2013 at 1:54 pm (#)

    My heart broke when they zoomed in on Nando’s face at the beginning of your match. He looked so sad. I honestly believed he’d come in after the 70th minute or so. I’d enjoy for him to see some action in Munich.

  51. Darcy says:

    May 30th, 2013 at 2:15 am (#)

    My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different web address and thought I may as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking
    over your web page yet again.

  52. Grow taller Long legs says:

    June 15th, 2013 at 1:44 am (#)

    I think that what you said made a great deal of sense. But, consider this, suppose you wrote
    a catchier title? I am not suggesting your content isn’t solid., but suppose you added a title that grabbed folk’s attention?
    I mean Food and Global Warming | ScienCentral | Science Videos | Science News is kinda plain.
    You might glance at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they create article headlines to grab viewers to click. You might add a related video or a pic or two to grab people interested about what you’ve written.
    Just my opinion, it could bring your posts a little livelier.

    Feel free to surf to my weblog; Grow taller Long legs

  53. sleeping bag zz top lyrics says:

    June 22nd, 2013 at 6:12 am (#)

    Awesome! Its in fact awesome paragraph, I have got much clear idea regarding from this article.

    my blog post :: sleeping bag zz top lyrics

  54. Aura Dory says:

    June 28th, 2013 at 2:56 pm (#)

    This is often a incredibly useful chemistry web-site.

  55. Lauren Camareno says:

    June 30th, 2013 at 2:22 am (#)

    It’s an honor to have the free chemistry globe magazine app.

  56. personal online reputation management says:

    July 3rd, 2013 at 5:25 am (#)

    Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and
    i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments?

    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any support is very much appreciated.

  57. backpacking tent says:

    July 14th, 2013 at 4:07 pm (#)

    I drop a comment when I appreciate a post on a site or if I have something to valuable to contribute to the discussion.

    It’s caused by the fire communicated in the post I read. And on this post Food and Global Warming | ScienCentral | Science Videos | Science News. I was moved enough to post a comment :) I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright.
    Is it just me or does it look like a few of these responses appear
    like they are written by brain dead individuals?

    :-P And, if you are posting on other social sites, I would like to keep up with you.
    Could you make a list all of your communal pages like your linkedin profile,
    Facebook page or twitter feed?

    my weblog … backpacking tent

  58. Temple Run 2 cheats says:

    July 15th, 2013 at 2:01 pm (#)

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your further post thank you once again.

    Also visit my site … Temple Run 2 cheats

  59. gas grill tank gauge says:

    July 16th, 2013 at 4:24 pm (#)

    Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet
    effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say you’ve done
    a very good job with this. In addition, the blog loads super quick for
    me on Safari. Exceptional Blog!

    my web-site … gas grill tank gauge

  60. green coffee weight loss side effects says:

    July 21st, 2013 at 5:23 pm (#)

    I got this website from my buddy who told me regarding this
    site and now this time I am visiting this
    website and reading very informative articles here.

Leave a Response


Learn More
  • Subscribe via RSS RSS    iTunes
twitter / follow our tweets

Sign up to receive the weekly ScienCentral newsletter and enter to win a gift certificate to the ScienCentral Store!




Clicky Web Analytics