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Food Security & Climate Change

February 12, 2016

Limited growing regions make staple crops like corn, wheat and soy more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Transcript

United Soybean Board CC BY 2.0, via flickr 10060088714_8787f84383_z (2)

The vast majority of the world’s soybeans are produced in just three countries: Brazil, Argentina, and the United States. (United Soybean Board/CC BY 2.0, via flickr)

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Food security and climate change. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

As the world’s population grows, so does its demand for food. At the same time, an increase in extreme weather events like droughts and floods brought on by climate change could threaten staple food crops. Researchers tackled the problem this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

KIRSTY LEWIS (Met Office Hadley Centre):

We’re having looks at what sort of weather causes poor production in the main regions where these staple crops are being grown.

HIRSHON:

Applied climate scientist Kirsty Lewis of the UK’s Met Office says those regions cover a surprisingly small area of the globe, but weather-related crop failures there would have global repercussions.

LEWIS:

By getting information about the levels of vulnerability of our food system we can make decisions to help us build resilience.

HIRSHON:

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.