Changing rainfall patterns could threaten major crops worldwide in just 20 years, study warns

Mail Online | 3/11/2019 | Press Association
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Climate change is likely to alter rainfall patterns in some of the world's most important food crop growing areas over the next 20 years, a study has found.

By 2040, up to 14% of land dedicated to wheat, maize, rice and soy will be permanently drier than in 1986-2005 while 31% will be wetter, according to the research.

Number - Regions - Climate - Re-set - Rainfall

A number of regions are already experiencing a climate re-set, with rainfall patterns different to what they were a generation ago, say scientists.

The rapid speed of the change means that many farmers are going to have to act quickly to adapt, they warn.

Crops - Account - % - Calorie - Intake

The four crops studied together account for about 40% of global calorie intake and are vital to feeding the world's growing population.

Researchers used computer simulations of low to high greenhouse gas emission scenarios to predict 'time of emergence' (TOE) of permanent precipitation changes.

TOE - Changes - Rainfall - Pattern - Climate

When a TOE is reached, changes in rainfall pattern become fixed, reflecting a continuing altered climate.

Regions expected to be heading for a drier future include south-western Australia, southern Africa, south-western South America, central Mexico and the Mediterranean.

Wetter - Areas - Canada - Russia - India

Wetter areas include Canada, Russia, India and the eastern United States.

Many wheat producers are likely to experience drier conditions, including Australia, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Mexico and Spain, said the researchers.

Author - Dr - Maisa - Rojas - University

Lead author Dr Maisa Rojas, from the University of Chile, said: 'These are definitely countries that will need to think rather quickly what they'd like to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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