National Geographic : 2015 Nov
NORTH AMERICA SOUTH AMERICA AFRICA EUROPE ASIA AUSTRALIA West Africa’s rich soil and abundant water may support more rice. Parts of East Africa are believed to have great po- tential to expand production. New parts of Australia will become arable, but droughts will require efficient farming if growing wheat is to continue. Northern European potato farmers will see longer growing seasons. Fields farther south will become increasingly dry. Changes in Asia, with its large populations and land area, will affect the most people. India and China will experience major losses of arable land. MAP: EVAN APPLEGATE. SOURCES: UN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION; RICKY ROBERTSON, IFPRI POTATOES Potatoes tend to grow best in cold tempera- tures. In warmer climates, it may be possible to grow them farther north or higher in mountains. CORN Climate change will open new areas to corn (also known as maize) but will reduce production in cur- rent areas. More farmers in more places will grow it. WHEAT Virtually all climate scenarios show reduced wheat yields. Warmer weather globally is also likely to spur more devas- tating crop diseases. RICE Unlike crops facing steep reductions, rice—which can grow in warm or cold—may do well. Researchers think Africa’s output could double. Indonesia’s rice produc- tion will be largely spared by climate change, but corn will decline as much as 20 percent. Women, if they had the same access to resources as men, could boost yields on their farms by up to 30 percent. NASA satellite technology identifying California fields idled by drought can help with water allocation plans. To meet demand caused by population growth, annual world agricultural pro- duction will need to increase by 60 to 70 percent by 2050.