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Climate change: Red flag for Agriculture??

Context

What is climate change?

What connections do weather and climate have?

How does climate get affected by nature?

Effects

Crops affected by the climate

Adaptation to climate change


What is climate change?

Climatic change refers to a broad shift in global climate conditions, including weather patterns, temperature, and sea level rise. It is caused by an inflow of greenhouse gases, mostly from global fossil fuel emissions. These gases trap heat in the atmosphere and alter weather patterns, warming many parts of the world and resulting in irregular seasons and weather occurrences.


What connections do weather and climate have?

Weather is sometimes confused with climate. However, the climate differs from the weather in that it is measured over time, whereas weather can fluctuate from day to day or year to year. 
The typical seasonal temperature, rainfall, and wind patterns all make up an area's climate. A desert, for example, has an arid climate since it receives minimal rain or snow throughout the year. Two further types of climate are temperate climates, which have milder winters and warmer summers, and tropical climates, which are hot and humid.

Climate change is the long-term change of a location's temperature and usual weather patterns. The planet as a whole or a specific location may be affected by climate change. Climate change may make it harder to predict weather patterns. Because projected temperature and rainfall levels can no longer be depended on, these unexpected weather patterns might make it difficult to sustain and develop crops in farming regions. Climate change has also been linked to an increase in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes, floods, downpours, and winter storms.


How does climate get affected by nature?

1. Greenhouse gases

The Earth absorbs sunlight, which it subsequently radiates as heat. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb and reemit infrared radiation, delaying its passage through the atmosphere and into space.

Before the Industrial Revolution, naturally existing greenhouse gases caused the air near the surface to be around 33 °C warmer than it would have been in their absence.


While water vapor (50 percent) and clouds (25 percent) are the most significant contributions to the greenhouse effect, they rise with temperature and hence serve as feedback. Concentrations of gases such as CO2 (20%), tropospheric ozone, CFCs, and nitrous oxide, on the other hand, are not temperature-dependent and hence act as external force.




2. Aerosols and clouds

Air pollution in the form of aerosols not only has a significant impact on human health but also has a big impact on the climate.

From 1961 to 1990, there was a progressive decrease in the quantity of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface, a phenomenon known as global dimming, which was generally linked to aerosols produced by biofuel and fossil fuel combustion.


Aerosols have been falling globally since 1990, which means they are no longer as effective at masking greenhouse gas warming.


3. Land surface changes

Humans alter the Earth's surface primarily to increase agricultural land. Agriculture now accounts for 34% of the Earth's surface area, with forests accounting for 26% and inhospitable terrain accounting for 30%. (glaciers, deserts, etc.).


The quantity of wooded land continues to decline, which is the primary source of global warming. Deforestation releases CO2 stored in trees and prevents those trees from absorbing further CO2 in the future. Permanent land-use change from forest to agricultural land generating goods such as cattle and palm oil (27 percent), logging to generate forestry/forest products (26 percent), short-term shifting cultivation (24 percent), and wildfires are the primary drivers of deforestation (23 percent ).


4. Solar and volcanic activity

When just fluctuations in solar output and volcanic activity are included, physical climate models are unable to simu


late the fast warming witnessed in recent decades. Because the Sun is the principal source of energy for the Earth, variations in incoming sunlight have a direct impact on the climate system.


Satellites have measured solar irradiance directly, indirect observations have been available since the early 1600s. There has been no increase in the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth.


Measurements that reveal warming of the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) paired with a cooling of the higher atmosphere provide more evidence for greenhouse gases driving global warming (the stratosphere).

The troposphere and stratospheric would both warm if solar fluctuations were to blame for the observed warming.


Effects

·       Global sea level is increasing due to glacial melt, ice sheet melt in Greenland and Antarctica, and thermal expansion. The rise increased with time, averaging 3.3 0.3 mm per year between 1993 and 2020. 
The IPCC predicts that in a very high emissions scenario, the sea level would rise by 61110 cm during the next century. Increased ocean warming is eroding and threatening to disconnect Antarctic glacier outlets, triggering a massive melt of the ice sheet and a 2-meter rise in sea level by 2100 under high emissions scenarios.

·       Climate change has resulted in decades of Arctic sea ice decreasing and thinner. While ice-free summers are projected to be unusual at 1.5 °C of warming, they are expected to occur once every three to ten years at 2 °C of warming. 

Increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere have caused changes in ocean chemistry. Ocean acidification is caused by an increase in dissolved CO2. Furthermore, oxygen levels are falling because oxygen is less soluble in warm water. The ocean's dead zones, or areas with very little oxygen, are also spreading


Crops affected by the climate

Many crops are affected by climate change but mainly affected field crops include


1. Wheat

Hotter temperatures will harm wheat, which is used to make bread and is a staple of life in many parts of the world. The nation where this impact may be the biggest is also one of the least prepared to deal with a shortage.


2. Coffee

Although the highly regarded Arabica kind of coffee does not like excessive heat, it cannot tolerate frigid conditions either. Therefore, it is primarily grown in the tropics on relatively cool mountainsides.


3. Peach

Peaches, among other fruit plants, have an odd requirement. In the winter, if they don't get enough chill, they become confused and don't bloom correctly. No blossom, no crop.


4. Corn

A warming climate will bring about several changes, most of which will be detrimental to maize farming. Less rain will fall more infrequently, and when it does, the storms will be more powerful. Neither of these conditions is advantageous for a crop that needs frequent showers but struggles to prevent soil erosion.

5. Almond

Trends make it more likely that farmers may occasionally experience severe water shortages. And losing an orchard is particularly detrimental to tree crops, of which almonds are the largest.


Adaptation to climate change

· Growing heat-sensitive crops in colder climates farther south in the Southern Hemisphere and farther north in the Northern Hemisphere

growing more perennial and heat-tolerant plants, such as through the use of permaculture.


· The reduction or eradication of crops like rice that require a lot of water.


· A rise in the usage of water-saving techniques like drip irrigation.


· A significant decrease in or a complete end to the use of fossil fuels in agriculture, which is now a major contributor to climate change.


· To boost agricultural resilience in the face of a changing and unpredictable climate, localising food systems and producing food inside.



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