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The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture - Zeynep Eğin

The impact of global warming on our earth has become undeniable. The increase in greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to climate change is altering the ecosystem and many sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, trade, and industry. According to The Fourth National Climate Assessment, published in 2018, the proper steps to mitigate the effects of climate change would protect the economy from serious harm. Over the past few years, agriculture has been most affected by climate change's ongoing effects; farmers will face new challenges as the consequences intensify. Although there are myriad consequences, a decrease in food availability is the most prominent among them since it would have long-term health problems such as anemia and malnutrition. For instance, a child's first 1000 days of life are crucial for healthy growth. As a result, taking the essential steps to address the climate crisis is unavoidably critical for the agricultural industry.

According to a recent study, wheat yield in Australia has shown a significant decrease compared to previous years. Australian and Chinese scientists alerted that it will become increasingly difficult to cultivate wheat as global warming continues. The heating of the Indian Ocean, which causes drier conditions, is the leading cause of the decline in yields. It is predicted to continue in the upcoming years due to continuous global warming. The study is being conducted when Australia is severely negatively impacted by heavy downpours across the south and east of the nation. Dr. Bin Wang, a climate research scientist at the New South Wales government's Department of Primary Industries, stated: "The Australian wheat crop depends on rainfall. A positive IOD typically sees below-average winter and spring rainfall. That means the wheat yield is decreased. Climate warming is a major driver in bringing more occurrences of these positive IOD events."

The World Bank, which has implemented significant projects on climate warming and expanded its research, has also conducted studies on how global warming could affect agriculture. The World Bank claims that agriculture faces greater problems due to its intense vulnerability to climate change. Climate change is already harming agricultural activities in various ways, including diminishing animal productivity, agricultural yields, and the nutritional value of essential seeds. Moreover, according to research, the effects on agricultural activities are predicted to be particularly destructive in certain regions, which are home to many of the poorest countries. The main reason behind this is that agriculture is one of the most significant economic sectors in many emerging nations; therefore, the dependence on climate and weather conditions restricts the activities that come with global warming.

Therefore, significant steps will be required to sustain current yields and enhance production. There are primary actions that farmers in Australia engage in agricultural activities for a better future and the preservation of resources. Firstly, they aim to conserve soil resources through better cattle management, more efficient water use, and preservation of water in a field. Moreover, one of the farmers adds, "None of this is particularly easy, and it's quite expensive, but what it offers in capacity makes it worthwhile. It will require a complete overhaul of their emissions, currently dominated by 75% methane, re-evaluating transport, stationary energy, electricity, water, feed, soil and planning a $100,000 solar investment."

When the relationship between agriculture and glasshouse gas emissions is examined, it is possible to conclude that agricultural activities also have a detrimental effect on the climate. According to World Bank statistics, even if other sectors lower their emissions, a positive effect on greenhouse gases will be observed. Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrogen dioxide, and other gases are the primary components of greenhouse gases. Although methane has the biggest impact on global warming, carbon dioxide plays a vital part in developing the greenhouse gas effect due to its much larger concentration in the atmosphere. The primary distinction between the agricultural sector, which ranks second in terms of glasshouse gas emissions alongside the forestry and fishing sectors, and other industries is that the air, than carbon dioxide, more commonly absorbs methane gas and diazo monoxide. This gas mixture accounts for almost 80% of the agricultural sector's greenhouse gases.

Climate change, one of today's most urgent problems, has a domino effect on other issues. The impact of this problem, which has reached the point of threatening human life, on significant industries such as agriculture demonstrates the severity of the situation. Hunger is a problem that is anticipated to worsen in the next years due to production and a decrease in the quantity and quality of food.


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