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5 Major Crops In The Crosshairs Of Climate Change

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5 major crops in the crosshairs of climate change

Climate change is coming like a freight train, or a rising tide. And our food, so dependent on rain and suitable temperatures, sits right in its path.

The plants that nourish us won't disappear entirely. But they may have to move to higher and cooler latitudes, or farther up a mountainside. Some places may find it harder to grow anything at all, because there's not enough water.

Here are five foods, and food-growing places, that will see the impact.

Wheat

Wheat, source of bread and a foundation of life in much of the world, will suffer from hotter temperatures — and the country where the impact may be greatest also is among least well-equipped to cope with a shortfall. India is likely to see a large drop in wheat production due to heat stress — about 8 percent if average global temperatures rise by 1 degree Celsius, according to one recent study.

Temperatures are expected to rise more than that; according to a recent report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius will require heroic and dramatic action. It will take significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions within 15 years, plus efforts to recapture some of the carbon that's already been emitted, perhaps by planting new forests.

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