ScienceDaily (Feb. 17, 2012) — Climate warming caused by greenhouse gases is very likely to increase the variability of summertime temperatures around the world by the end of this century, a University of Washington climate scientist said Friday. The findings have major implications for food production.
Current climate models do not adequately reflect feedbacks from the relationship between the atmosphere and soil, which causes them to underestimate the increase of variability in summertime temperatures, said David Battisti, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences.
While warmer temperatures already have implications for food production in the tropics, the new findings suggest the increase in the volatility of summertime temperatures will have serious effects in grain-growing regions of Europe and North and South America, Battisti said.
"If there's greater variability, the odds of the temperature being so high that you can't grow a crop are greater," he said. "In terms of regional and global food security, it's not good news."
Battisti presented his findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Vancouver, Canada. His discussion was part of a panel on climate and global food security that included Rosamond Naylor of Stanford University and Daniel Vimont of the University of Wisconsin, with whom he has collaborated on previous food security research. More