Home / news / Winds of hunger: Simultaneous heatwaves to batter food-growing countries | Climate change could spur stronger crop-wilting heatwaves that hit several of the world’s major grain producing regions simultaneously, potentially sparking food shortages and unrest, study warns

Winds of hunger: Simultaneous heatwaves to batter food-growing countries | Climate change could spur stronger crop-wilting heatwaves that hit several of the world’s major grain producing regions simultaneously, potentially sparking food shortages and unrest, study warns

Winds of hunger: Simultaneous heatwaves to batter food-growing countries | Climate change could spur stronger crop-wilting heatwaves that hit several of the world’s major grain producing regions simultaneously, potentially sparking food shortages and unrest, study warns

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  1. >Crop failures in one part of the world – from weather disasters or other causes – have traditionally been offset with increased trade from other areas with normal or above normal harvests, said climatologist Dim Coumou, a co-author of the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
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    >But a pattern of waves in the strong jet stream winds that circle high above the Earth’s surface, combined with hotter climate-driven temperatures, could threaten crops in multiple breadbasket regions at once, the study noted.
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    >“We show in this analysis that whenever these waves emerge, crops are negatively affected in these regions at the same time,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
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    >Production declines in the regions could lead to global food price spikes if affected countries impose export bans to ensure sufficient food supplies in their own countries, the paper added.
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    >“The 2010 heatwave in Russia caused major harvest failures which led to a national export ban on grains,” said Kai Kornhuber, the study’s lead author and a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
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    >While many factors affect food prices, the export ban “contributed to a increase of 50% in (global) wheat prices by the end of the year. This price spike has been connected to the Arab Spring unrest,” he said.

  2. How many missed meals to anarchy?

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