Human food chain effected by climate change

It has not quite kicked in yet in the minds of many, but the fact is climate change as a direct result of global warming is already reducing the food supply of humans as well as animals. Most people think of a storm that may occasionally destroy crops, but few comprehend it will now be part of the annual cycle because things in nature are now out of sync.

In school we all learned about the cycles of nature. We learned that the combination of sunlight and temperature triggers plants to start and stop their growing cycle. We also learned that insects play a big part in plant sex. They perform pollination at a critical time in a plants life cycle. If it is not done in that window of time, the results could resemble attempting to conceive during menopause.

As the temperature rises plans start growing early, but that is not necessarily the case with insects. With the plants coming early and the insects that help the plants pollinate still in the larva stage, we have a cycle miss match that will have significant consequences at harvest time. This means that the places that are now part of the food belt will move to cooler climates. But that has problems as well.

The richness of the soil in places that do not produce food is very different. This will have some effect as well presumably in the negative direction. Also the flavor of the food will change somewhat as the soil has much to do with flavor.

As there are insects that help plants, there are also insects that damage plants. Some of them are now surviving the warmer winters and as a result their numbers are greater the following year.

The numbers are already significant. For example the Grain crop is off by 10% in Germany but that is not so much insect related. The soaring heat and rain damage played into that, and that simply spells that there are a variety of things that will work collectively at starving off the human infestation of the planet.

Seeing that a 10% or 20% change in the crop size is possible at this still early stage of climate change, it is not hard to imagine a 50% or more reduction is possible once nature gets out of first gear. The logistics of moving food in richer countries like the US is still possible. But with poorer countries population shifts are more likely as people simply follow the food.

For most people following the food around in today’s world is a thought not frequently entertained, but it will become a more common reality in the coming years. The grain food belt in the US will more than likely shift to Canada is just one example. Connecting the Dots is trying not to put a date on that as nobody really has been accurate in predictions, but a fair guess would be before the end of the decade there will be noticeable changes on agricultural maps, and by 2030 they will be significant.

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