Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Blind Spot for Climate Research in Agriculture: Not All Climate Change is Bad

I wrote this article for Huffington Post, and it appeared October 10, 2014. Below, I present two key paragraphs, and a link to the full article. — Tim Thomas

On average (confirmed by an overwhelming majority of the models), by 2050 climate change will have adverse impact on crop yields across the globe, especially in tropical countries. It gets much worse past 2050, because the more that greenhouse gases accumulate, the hotter it will get. The current projections for productivity losses by 2100 are scary.

What is not written about very often — and this is what I consider to be the blind spot — is the fact that we can also see areas that will have higher agricultural productivity as a result of climate change — at least through 2050, which is where my research has focused. That is, many if not most countries have areas within them that are projected to have higher productivity due to climate change. It is reasonably well known that agricultural productivity in some parts of temperate countries would increase because warming could remove some of the limitations on production, particularly in lengthening growing seasons and limiting damaging frosts. But the same general observation is true for many tropical countries, as well.

Continue reading at Huffington Post

A Road Trip Without a Map: Why Research Is Vital for Confronting Climate Change

I wrote this article for Huffington Post, and it appeared September 19, 2014. Below, I present two key paragraphs, and a link to the full article. — Tim Thomas

Much research has been done to predict the effects of climate change. We know much more than ever before about how rising temperatures are likely to affect the planet, and yet much more research needs to be done if we are going to successfully confront the challenges of feeding growing populations living in warmer and less predictable climates.

We need better roadmaps, for instance, to understand how to lower greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from agriculture and land. We need to learn more about how climate change will impact people, particularly farmers. And we need to develop ways for farmers and others adversely affected to adapt to the changes.

Continue reading at Huffington Post