Climate Change And Its Effects On Crop Yields

1001 words - 4 pages

Throughout the last 100 years, there has been an increasing concern about the effect of climate change on our earth. Until recently, many scientists believed that climate change would not harm plant life because plants use carbon dioxide (CO2) to develop and with increasing earth’s surface, comes an increase of CO2 gasses. While it is true that climate change is helping certain aspects of crop life, I now believe that crop production is dramatically decreasing, crop prices are increasing, and food scarcity will become prevalent in the next decades to come if humans do not take action against climate change.
In recent years, scientists have discovered that humans are causing climate change, day after day. Human activities such as burning fossil fuels, or chopping down trees are not only harming our air, they are also causing the earth’s temperature to dramatically rise. According to The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, "global mean air surface temperature increased by 0.5 degrees Celsius in the 20th century and is projected to further increase by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius in this century” (Shaobing, Jianliang, Sheehy, Laza, Visperas, Zhong, Centeno, Khush, & Cassman 9971). With such high rising temperatures comes the rise of greenhouse gases. It is an accepted fact that climate change is natural, but what is not natural is the human-caused effect of greenhouse gases. “The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has progressively increased over the last century or so. For example, [CO2] has increased from pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm to 379 ppm” (Craufurd & Wheeler 2529). Raising C02 is weakening our air, our environment, and even our precious lives. With such high temperature rates, and increasing green house gasses, the future of our crops is at risk.
Scientists’ fears of reducing crop production are already coming true. As temperatures are increasing, farmers are experiencing corresponding losses in production. With rising temperatures come droughts and a decrease of the accessibility of water supply, which will negatively affect essential crop production. While The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes that it is possible that CO2 may help certain plants such as rice grow but “if temperature exceeds a crop's optimal level or if sufficient water and nutrients are not available, yield increases may be reduced or reversed” (n.pag). It is widely known that plants need water to grow. Climate change is causing our necessary water supply to shrink. There have been numerous studies that demonstrate that climate change and rising CO2 levels have done more harm, rather than good, to plant life. For example, a successful, well-known Michigan cherry farmer, Jeff Send came to The National Agriculture Committee and claimed that higher global temperatures were affecting farmer’s ability to produce crops. He claimed “In Michigan…we have the capacity to produce 275...

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