Climate Change Is Transforming the World’s Food Supply

Climate change is poised to affect the world’s food supply in three key ways, experts say.

“There will be impacts on the quantity, quality and location of the food we produce,” said Dr. Sam Myers, a medical doctor and senior research scientist studying environmental health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“We’ve never needed to increase food production more rapidly than we do today to keep up with global demand,” Myers told Live Science.

But, “at the very same time, we’re fundamentally transforming the biological underpinnings” of how we produce food, he said.

Researchers studying climate change are looking at how the biological and physical changes happening on Earth due to climate change will transform food production, Myers said at a talk today (Feb. 16), here at the Climate & Health Meeting, a gathering of experts from public health organizations, universities and advocacy groups that focused on the health impacts of climate change.

Food quantity

Ultimately, climate change will reduce the amount of food grown around the world, Myers told Live Science.

Initially, some experts thought that rising carbon dioxide levels might act as a fertilizer and increase food yield, Myers said. However, more recent research suggests that the net effects of climate change will mean a decrease in food yield, he said.

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