What is easier: to love wine, bananas, coffee, and potatoes or to combat climate change?

    28 Jul 2021

    If the banana is in your grocery basket, then there is enough rainfall in India or Ecuador. And a bottle of beer next to it suggests that barley from Ukraine, China, or another part of the world has not been exposed to dangerous fluctuations in weather conditions. An apple from Turkey got into the basket because the trees overseas managed to recover in the winter dormancy.

    Without thinking about it, we will continue to take for proper delivery of products to the supermarket near the house. Or… we will not continue. And we learn that due to climate change, the yields of favorite products may fall by 20%, 50%, 85%, and prices will rise accordingly. This will not start a world famine. But the list of earthly joys that we will lose due to the climate crisis may be expanded.

    Let’s check the Ecoaction NGO story about the near future of food consumption.

    Scientists say that an increase in temperature by 1 degree leads to a shift of climatic zones by 100 km. That is, cool areas are increasingly being replaced by hot ones in the North.

    It’s cool that we have scientific predictions, and we can still make them never come true.

    By 2050, we can save up to 50% of coffee

    According to scientists, the area for growing coffee in the world could be reduced by about 50%. The impact of climate change may be most significant in regions near the equator and low above sea level.

    In major coffee-producing regions, such as Brazil and Vietnam, there may be a significant reduction in the area available for cultivation. At the same time, areas in East Africa and Asia that are high above sea level may become more suitable. But such regions are partially covered by forests, which must be preserved to combat climate change.

    The authors of the study made calculations according to the scenario according to which the peak of carbon dioxide emissions will occur in 2080, and then they will begin to decline.

    By 2100, we can store between 56% and 85% of the wine

    Eleven grape varieties were used for forecasts (Cabernet Sauvignon, Chassla, Chardonnay, Grenache, Merlot, etc.). These varieties make up 35% of the sown area worldwide, reaching 64-87% of the area in many wine-growing countries (for example, in Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the USA).

    The study authors calculated that the worst-case scenario was that emissions would continue to rise throughout the 21st century.

    If the variety of grape varieties does not increase, scientists predict significant losses in wine-growing regions. Under 2° C warming, 56% of current cultivation regions will be lost; at 4° C, 85% will be lost.

    By 2100, we can save 3% to 17% of the main component of beer

    Climate change impact models show significant differences in different regions. In difficult years, when intense droughts and heatwaves coincide, barley yields will fall mainly in the tropics of Central and South America and Central Africa. At the same time, results in temperate Europe will decline insignificantly or may even increase in some parts of the United States or Russia.

    But the general trend of the study is apparent: globally, barley yields will decline by 3% at best. The best case scenario means an optimistic climate change scenario, according to which emissions have been under control since 2020. In the worst case, the yield will fall by 17%.

    By 2100, it is time to protect all fruit trees and nuts in warm countries

    Fruit and nut trees that grow in tropical and warm climates will not receive enough winter cold for economically viable crops by the end of the 21st century. The absence of winter cold can delay or prevent flowering, lead to uneven flowering.

    Researchers have found that the number of chill portions in warm climates will drop by 40 to 170 by the end of the 21st century without reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time,best-case tropical countries may lose almost all chill portions altogether. Cold portions are a modern model that counts the number of cold hours for autumn-winter in portions. If more than 10% of the century’s cooling is insufficient, the production of all fruits and nuts – peaches, plums, almonds, and hazelnuts – can become unprofitable and unproductive in such a climate.

    By 2050, we can maintain the level of banana yields in the world

    Forecasts show that by 2050, the positive effects of climate change on the world’s banana harvest are likely to continue but to be lower. Yield growth may decrease to 0.59 t / y and 0.19 t / h in the temperate scenario or disappear altogether in the extreme climate scenario. In ten countries, there will be a small or even a sharp decline in yields. Notably, they include India (the world’s largest producer and consumer of bananas), Brazil (the fourth-largest producer), as well as Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, and the Philippines, which are major exporters.

    By 2085, we will have time to save 26% of potatoes

    The application of climate change scenarios to potato cultivation has shown a slight decrease in tuber yield in the world by 2055 (from 2% to 6%), but a much more noticeable decrease by 2085 (from 2% to 26%). Scientists predicted the most negative impact on tuber yields globally for the extreme scenario (recall that emissions will continue to grow throughout the 21st century). The impact varied by region, with significant reductions in tuber yields in the high latitudes (e.g., Eastern Europe and North America) and in the lowlands of Africa, but to a lesser extent in the middle latitudes and tropical highlands.

    By 2060, we can protect 45% of American avocados

    Farmers in Mexico (the world’s leading grower) and other countries plant young avocado trees under the forest canopy. They then slowly cut down bushes and old trees to provide the avocado trees with more sunlight. There is deforestation, which negatively affects the climate.

    Avocado production has led to 30-40% of deforestation in Michoacan (almost all Mexican avocados are located here). It turns out a vicious circle. Deforestation leads to CO2 emissions (6-17% of their total emissions), which causes climate change. And climate change will affect the same avocados for which the forest is being destroyed. Its yield in America could fall by 45% by 2060 due to droughts.

    We can prevent chickpea yields from falling below 50%

    Droughts around the world have already reduced chickpea production by 40-50%. So, for the last quarter of 2018 in the state of Madhya Pradesh, 8 mm of precipitation fell – substantial only one-tenth of the norm. Madhya Pradesh is the largest producer of legumes in India and produces about 65% of the world’s harvest.

    In northern India, chickpea yields fell by 53 kg/ha in Uttar Pradesh and 301 kg/ha in Haryana due to a one-degree increase in seasonal temperatures. In addition, in Australia (the world’s second-largest producer), where India purchased significant amounts of chickpeas, the gross harvest of this crop in the 2019 season was only 300 thousand tons, while in 2018 – 1.2 million tons, and in 2017 – 2 million tons.

    What can be done to save all these products?

    Rising temperatures on the planet threaten crops. This is caused by greenhouse gas emissions, retaining heat near the earth’s surface. To avoid critical warming, emissions must be drastically reduced by more than half from 1990 levels.

    The primary source of emissions is the combustion of coal, oil, and gas in energy and transport. They are also released into the atmosphere during plowing, cattle breeding, etc. But in fact, huge industrial emissions are shaped by the individual needs of each of us. For example, as a result of one person’s flight from Kyiv to Istanbul and back, 200 kg of emissions are emitted.

    Everyone can reduce their carbon footprint. To do this, you can change to public electric transport or bicycle instead of a car, save energy, eat less meat, choose local products.

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