NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

A World Food Crisis?

July 22, 2011

Forecasting world famines has become a favorite pastime for some.  The latest catastrophic forecast comes to us from climate alarmists who focus on a world food crisis, supposedly as a consequence of global warming.  While there may well arise problems about world food, it is more than likely that a global warming will increase food production rather than lower it, says S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist and research fellow at the Independent Institute.

  • The main cause cited for a decrease is loss of soil moisture; but it should be obvious that any increase in global temperature will also increase evaporation from the oceans and therefore the total amount of global precipitation.
  • Global warming is a perfect recipe for creating more fresh water, which according to the alarmists is badly needed.

Another reason for increased food production stems from the warmer temperatures themselves.  Again, according to climate models, an increase in average global temperature points toward only a slight increase in the tropical zone -- with the major increases in higher latitudes, where climates tend to be more severe. 

The final reason for improvements in agriculture stems of course from the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide -- irrespective of its putative effects on climate.

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) will continue to increase because of the burning of fossil fuels to create energy.
  • The rate of future increase is not known with any degree of certainty; it depends on population growth, changes in economic activity, technology and other factors.
  • But CO2 is plant food and a natural fertilizer.
  • Countless experiments conducted by agriculturalists in different nations have established that increased CO2 levels not only speed up plant growth, of crops and forests, but enable plants to do better under stressed conditions of drought, pollution and attacks by insects and fungi.

Source: S. Fred Singer, "A World Food Crisis?" Independent Institute, July 8, 2011.

For text:

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=3115

 

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