On Wednesday, a new report found that climate change has “a very low” likelihood of creating crop failures and that the “business case” for using more carbon-intensive crops such as corn and soybeans is “pretty strong.”
The report by University of California, Davis, and other researchers found that while some climate change impacts are expected to be “strong,” it’s more likely that the effects will be “minimal” and “moderate.”
The researchers concluded that if climate change continues at its current pace, “the impact of climate change will likely be limited, and the business case for adopting climate-controlled crop varieties is very strong.”
They concluded that while there is “no doubt” that climate impacts will cause some crop failures, “there is little evidence of a significant probability of the impacts being catastrophic, and thus, it would not be prudent to use crop varieties that are already vulnerable to climate variability.”
A statement from the Center for Biological Diversity, which has been a leading voice in the fight against climate change, applauded the report, calling it “one of the most comprehensive analyses of climate impacts on crop yield to date.”
The statement also said that the report “demonstrates that climate and agricultural change are not mutually exclusive threats.”
The center said it is “extremely concerned by the study’s conclusion that crop losses due to greenhouse gases are minimal.”
The Center for Food Safety, an advocacy group, also applauded the study.
“The research confirms that climate-induced climate change is not causing crop failure,” the group said.
“It is a reminder that it is important to understand the impacts of climate disruption before we begin to take drastic measures to address climate change.
The Center has been working for years to increase our understanding of crop yield by tracking crop yield losses through time, including through the impact of CO2 emissions and other climate change drivers.”
It’s not clear what crop yield damage would occur if CO2 levels reached “extreme” levels, or if crop yields could be reduced by switching to crop varieties with higher yields.
The report is available online here.