STATES CHRONICLE – Climate change and global warming put us at great risks, including animal extinction, strong heat waves, or economic collapse. However, they might also have other dangerous consequences we have failed to consider so far. Our food might become less nutritious. The increase of levels of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere make crops lose proteins.
Researchers from Harvard University developed a study where they assessed carbon dioxide levels and what they might lead to. Their models showed how these levels are extremely likely to continue rising. If this happens, 18 countries and their crops will be affected.
Higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will cause a decrease of at least 5 percent of dietary proteins from crops like wheat or rice from all these countries. This is likely to happen by 2050, if we don’t do something to limit greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible. Also, around 150 million people will be affected by this protein deficiency.
More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means less protein in crops
At the moment, more than half of the population of the globe gets its daily intake of protein from plants. To see how they will be affected if protein levels from the crops drastically fell, they exposed several of these plants to high levels of carbon dioxide and looked at how they reacted.
They observed how the levels of protein from potatoes, rice, wheat, and barley decreased between 6.4 and 14.1 percent. One of the main things that happens to them is losing the ability to absorb nitrate, which they could later convert into protein. This phenomenon puts around 354 million children and 1.05 billion women at risk.
There’s no doubt that humans have a great influence on these rising levels of carbon dioxide. These are also related to higher temperatures, which have already started affecting agriculture. What researchers want to warn us about is the fact that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so that temperatures won’t continue soaring.
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