Russia and the United States are among the countries whose lands will be hit hardest by drought amid global warming. Crop losses in these regions by the middle of the century could become a new threat to the food industry around the world, the think tank Chatham House found out in its report.
The researchers prepared the report for the heads of state ahead of the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP26), which starts October 31 in Glasgow. Analysts at Chatham House have found that with the current rate of reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, food supplies will not be able to meet the needs of a growing global population. Farmers will have to produce 50 percent more food than they do now. In the face of an impending global catastrophe, this is impossible – according to forecasts, the drought will reduce the yield of major crops by almost a third.
Experts believe that agriculture in West Africa, the United States, Russia and Eastern Europe may suffer the most from moisture shortages by 2050. The main grain regions (Russia and the United States) risk losing 40 percent of their wheat harvest each year due to drought. The likelihood of this happening at the same time will reach 50 percent in the 2040s. In addition to wheat, corn, soybeans and rice will be severely affected – their growing periods will also be shortened due to global warming.
Natural anomalies and the coronavirus pandemic have disrupted supply chains and caused food prices to skyrocket to ten-year highs. For example, due to the heat in Canada, wheat in the summer of 2021 has risen in price by almost 90 percent, and with it – and pasta. Researchers at Chatham House are convinced that the upward trend in prices will continue until climate issues are resolved. One of the authors of the report, Daniel Quiggin, warned that for the same reason, some regions will face food shortages.
The food shortage is already widening. The USDA has predicted that the number of hungry people in the world will surpass one billion people in 2021. By comparison, in 2020, 800 million people were undernourished.