TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: Disappearing Opportunities
Global Warming and AgricultureLeading scientists believe that global warming will have a profound effect on agriculture. The increase in temperature may cause a pole-ward shift of agricultural zones and a shift in growing seasons. Equatorial zones, where agriculture is generally unproductive now, will deteriorate further. In many areas currently fertile, like parts of South America, New Zealand, and Southern Africa, conditions are predicted to become more arid, and crops yields to become more marginal. However, there may be some agricultural windfalls from warming. Scientists expect the expansion of agricultural zones for regions in the northern hemisphere like the United States, Canada, and Russia.
Of equal concern, preliminary studies at the University of Arizona suggest that grain grown under carbon dioxide enriched conditions maybe less nutritious than than grain grown under current conditions. Although more grain is produced under such conditions, it is of inferior quality to humans and livestock.