NASA | Ask a Climate Scientist: Food Production

NASA | Ask a Climate Scientist: Food Production

[ music ] Will climate change drastically reduce our food production, or will it change what we produce? So, to answer this quesiton you have to think about it in two parts. We have climate change, and food production. We know that climate change is likely to affect temperature and precipitation over the coming decades. And when we think about how those changes will affect agriculture, we are pretty sure that an increase in temperature and changing precipitation patterns will affect the way farmers make a living. But farmers don’t decide what to plant depending on what the weather is. They look at what will get them the best price, what will make them the most amount of money, what is feasible, and the kind of investments they’ve already made in previous years. So that’s the kind of broad-scale macro-economic drivers that we can’t really anticipate when we’re looking at climate change. When I do research what I’m interested in doing is taking the last thirty years that we have satellite observations here at NASA and then connecting those trends to what has happened with agriculture and with populations and what people are eating and the economics and food prices. Because if we can make connections with what we’ve seen happen with the climate, climate variability, over the last thirty years, and try to connect that to the economic conditions and to what people are eating, then we can have a better basis for projecting into the future.


25 thoughts on “NASA | Ask a Climate Scientist: Food Production”

  • Wow. Tricky problem. I thought she was juts going to say "Yes, climate change will definitely affect agriculture." Her answer is much more interesting. 😛

  • Climate change our food production but finally the industrial food will stay in our supermarket. She spoke about "farmers" who are actually rare species.

  • Arkadiusz Pierscionek says:

    wow, then do that reasearch and post results on youtube. untill you have results stop posting videos on youtube. nasa f ng attencion lut.

  • We have more food today because of synthetic nitrogen and not because of climate change. Anyone arguing otherwise should really do more than no research on the topic.

    That synthesizing of nitrogen is not without its costs however.

  • I'm surprised. I was expecting to see a vitriol fueled rage reply. I am always glad to be wrong :).

    Hopefully business will notice the danger before that happens and we'll see a shift under the guise of goodwill or something. Mostly because I don't expect any kind of uprising by people (not one I'd like to see at least).

  • Some more left wing propaganda. Climate has been changing since earth was formed. This is political hog wash. They are trying to make a natural weather process into an emergency to control the sheep.

  • If that's what you believe, that's fine by me and my grandkids, cuz if your grandkids come onto our property looking for food, well, my leftist kids will shoot you with our leftist guns using right-wing bullets. And btw, if you bothered to watch a vid that was not even 2 min long, this person is scientist who made no claims about what is going on with climate change; she just told us what they do as climate scientists in NASA, dim-wit.

  • Do you eat mutton? Look no further than the large winter storm that killed about 100,000 cattle in the northern plains just the other week. Look no further than the 23 typhoons in one season in the Pacific this year. Yes it is true the climate is always changing. But the rate of that change has been upticking faster than is seen in the geological records, and Ice core data. the only varible in this is Humans. One of us will be right, stick around wait for it.

  • I dont think she is answering the question. She just see things in the economic way, but here the question is about the relation of human and mother nature. I'm dissatisfied.

  • What a load of twaddle.  Here's the answer she was avoiding:

    More CO2 and warmer weather will lead to more plant food, longer growing seasons and more food production.  That's why plant growers often use "hot" houses and pump in a lot of CO2.

    Plants evolved when the atmosphere contained far higher levels of CO2, which is vital for plants to make food through photosynthesis.  Stomata, the pores on the bottom of leaves with which plants breathe, must open enough to balance between breathing CO2 and retaining moisture.  But a CO2 enriched atmosphere means the stomata don't need to open as much, allowing them to retain more moisture, and still get enough precious CO2, so they grow much better.

    In fact with all the recent additional man-made CO2, forests have expanded and plants have flourished.

    BTW most of the newer warming occurs at night and in the winter–just when we need it.

  • The trend is, less food in 2014 to 2017. The length of time it takes to replace a beef from birth to slaughter. Look to rice and grain growers, either flooded or not enough rain too much heat. There are too many clues out there to guess, just research for yourself. She isn't an economist or farmer.

  • She is avoiding the question. 

    I will tell you what happens, most of us will die from starvation because only cactus will grow and then we will send a group of scientists and astronauts to another planet through a wormhole to find a life sustaining environment for what's left of mankind, as shown in the movie Intergalactic by Christopher Nolan, expert on climate change. LOL 

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