Date
18 October 2017
Climate change could drastically cut global food production, a study has warned. Photo: Bloomberg
Climate change could drastically cut global food production, a study has warned. Photo: Bloomberg

Climate change to dent crop output, worsen malnutrition: study

Global food production could shrink drastically in the next few decades and lead to a spurt in the number of undernourished people if the climate change and pollution problem is left unresolved, a study has warned.

According to the earth system science department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, crop output could fall 15 percent by 2050 and the number of malnourished people in the world could spike by 49 percent if the ozone pollution is not tackled amid global warming.

However, if all concerned countries try to fix the ozone pollution problem, crop production will only be reduced by 9 percent and the number of undernourished will go up only 27 percent, the study showed, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

Climate change has already dented harvests in many plantation and other crops.

Cocoa price, for instance, has been skyrocketing as output has fallen due to rising temperature, rainfall deficiency and fungal disease. The price jumped to an almost three-year high of US$3,031 per metric ton as of the end of March from US$2,680 in January, the report noted.

It is estimated that there would be a large discrepancy between the demand and supply of cocoa in six years.

Rice and vegetables are some other crops that have seen poor harvests due to climate change.

Rice imported into Hong Kong, for example, has risen an average of 5 percent every year over the past years. Climate change, pollution, political factors and a slump in supply have all taken a toll.

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Malnutrition will worsen if crop outputs fall due to climate change and pollution. Photo: Bloomberg


Freelance journalist

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