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Crops and Climate Change

May 31, 2018

High levels of CO2 may reduce levels of crop nutrients.


A rice paddy in Taiwan. (prometeus_86/Pixabay)

How do carbon dioxide emissions affect nutrients in rice and other crops? (prometeus_86/Pixabay)


High CO2 may lead to low nutrition. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

High levels of carbon dioxide gas causes climate change. Now researchers are concerned it may also lead to less nutritious food. In the journal Science Advances, University of Washington epidemiologist Adam Drewnowski and his colleagues report that rice grown at high CO2 levels was significantly lower in protein, iron and B vitamins. And Drewnowski says the phenomenon isn’t limited to rice.

ADAM DREWNOWSKI (University of Washington):

Climate change will bring about very profound changes in the food supply and in the nutritional status of different plants other than rice. This becomes very worrisome in the United States when it comes to vegetables and fruit, which are the major sources of the vitamins and minerals that we consume.


And even more worrisome in countries with little access to alternative sources of nutrients. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon