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Hunger Forecast

February 26, 2008

A new model predicts where global warming may trigger future food shortages.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Predicting where hunger strikes. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

In the coming decades, farmers will have to adapt to climate change: for example, by breeding hardier crops or overhauling irrigation systems. But in poor countries, that’s easier said than done. In a new report, Stanford University agricultural ecologist David Lobell and his colleagues have modeled the future of critical food crops in a dozen vulnerable parts of the world. He says that by 2030, south Asia, southern Africa, and other hunger-prone regions may face serious shortfalls. And the people there can’t just overcome the difference with imports.

DAVID LOBELL (Stanford University):
They tend to not be as well tied into global markets as other people. And so a lot of the production here is either consumed directly by those growing it or is traded locally.

HIRSHON:
Staving off a crisis may require that more wealthy countries pitch in and help them prepare. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.