A third of global food production will be at risk by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at their current rate, new research suggests.
Many of the world’s most important food-growing areas will see temperatures increase and rainfall patterns alter drastically if temperatures rise by about 3.7C, the forecast increase if emissions stay high.
It’s not going to happen. That projection of 3.7 C. Just not part of our future.
The ‘rising coal’ assumption on which the RCP8.5 climate model is based is implausible in the first place, but has now been shown to be false: the shift from coal to unconventional gas means that the world is on a much lower emissions trajectory than worst case scenarios assume.
However, many climate scientists continue to use – or misuse – the RCP8.5 scenario, claiming that it represents a plausible future under “business as usual” CO2 emissions.
Every year, thousands of scientists adopt it to make scary claims about future climate disasters while environmental journalists report these misleading claims to an unsuspecting public, unaware that the claims are based on a non-credible assumption.
Another, and equally valid, way to make the point is that to beat extreme climate change all that was ever needed was cheaper renewables. Renewables are cheaper – we’ve beaten extreme climate change.