New research indicates that reductions in the kind of human-generated air pollution that causes global warming could create unexpected agricultural benefits in India, one of the world’s poorest regions.
Rice harvests increased dramatically in India during the “Green Revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s, making the country self-sufficient in rice, which is its staple food. But harvest growth has slowed since the mid-1980s, raising concerns that food shortages could recur in this densely populated and poor nation.
Several explanations have been proposed for this slowdown, but until now, none took into account the complex interactions of two pollution-related sources of climate change: soot and other fine particles in the air, which form aerosol clouds, and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
When researchers examined the combined effects of atmospheric brown clouds and greenhouse gases on growing conditions, they found that the combined effects were greater after the mid-1980s than before, coinciding with the slowdown in harvest growth. They think that harvests would have been 20 to 25% higher during some years in the 1990s if the negative climate impacts had not occurred. This is one of the first direct pieces of evidence showing how global warming will impact agriculture.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
Only a few people know the secret of where Whitley and Art got the information that forms the basis for their amazing book, which was made into the hit film The Day After Tomorrow. Twelve lucky new subscribers recently got INSCRIBED and autographed copies of this book.
NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.
Subscribers, to watch the subscriber version of the video, first log in then click on Dreamland Subscriber-Only Video Podcast link.