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Heat AdvisoryProtecting Health on a Warming Planet$
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Alan H. Lockwood, M.D.

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034876

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034876.001.0001

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Climate Change, Agriculture, and Famine

Climate Change, Agriculture, and Famine

(p.79) 5 Climate Change, Agriculture, and Famine
Heat Advisory

Alan H. Lockwood

The MIT Press

Hotter weather and higher atmospheric CO2 levels will have profound effects on plants. Crops such as corn and soybeans, have critical temperature thresholds above which yields fall precipitously. High CO2 levels will foster the growth of many weeds over crops, threatening yields. Stimulated growth and release of ragweed allergens will threaten hay fever sufferers and asthmatics. The nutrient content of many crops falls in a high CO2 environment. As crop yields fall, prices rise, and undernutrition increases, particularly among children who fail to develop normally who, as a result, may not achieve normal intelligence. In many nations, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, childhood undernutrition already approaches 50%. Feeding the increasing population of the world may become problematic.

Keywords:   Crop yields, Critical temperatures, Weed proliferation, Crop nutrients, Allergens, Undernutrition

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