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Global warming will cause shortages of vegetables around the world

According to a report from the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, global warming will make vegetables significantly more scarce all over the world, unless producers adopt new practices and resistant crop varieties.

"Our study shows that environmental changes, such as increased temperature and water scarcity, can pose a real threat to world agricultural production and have a great impact on food security and the health of the population," said researcher Pauline Scheelbeek, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The report also points out that by the end of this century the combination of less water and hot air will reduce vegetable harvests, which are crucial for a healthy diet, by almost a third.

In addition, crops would decrease by an average of 31.5% if there is a 4 degrees Celsius increase in temperature, which scientists expect by 2100 if global warming continues its current trajectory. This could especially affect Southern Europe, large regions of Africa, and South Asia.

The findings are supported by a systematic review of 174 studies that evaluate the effect of environmental exposures on crops and the nutritional content of vegetables and legumes since 1975.

"We found that as the planet heats up, it becomes more likely that different countries will simultaneously experience large crop losses, which has major implications for food prices and food security," Scheelbeek said.

"The report warns that, if temperatures rise by 4 degrees Celsius, which would happen by the end of the century if the current rates of greenhouse gas emissions continue, there is an 86% chance that the four countries that export corn suffer a bad year simultaneously."

The vast majority of world corn exports come from the United States, Brazil, Argentina, and Ukraine, according to the report. 

Source: with information from Agencia AFP

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