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Hunger Forecast

February 26, 2008

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


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.

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.