Researchers at MIT looking at the interaction between global warming and ozone pollution say the combined effects of the two on global food crops will likely be significant, according to a release. Their study considered the world’s most important staple crops.
Rice, wheat, corn and soy make up more than half of all calories that humans consume globally. Some of those crops are more sensitive to pollution, scientists say, while others are more affected by changing temperatures.
This sets up a hard-to-predict scenario for crop production in the future. Output will likely vary by region, the study finds. With all factors considered equally, researchers say crop yields may drop 10 percent by 2050. But the effects of ozone pollution are harder to predict.
Image: Ohio cornfield (Credit: Graylight, Wikimedia Commons)