Farms in Brazil and India must adapt or roast in heat

by Dave

New Scientist Environment

Farmers in Brazil and India may suffer less from climate change than previously assumed – if they can continue to adapt to hotter weather, a new study suggests.

Even so the devastation in these countries and other low-latitude countries is going to be much higher than in the northern regions of the rich west, says Robert Mendelsohn at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Mendelsohn and Apurva Sanghi of the World Bank in Washington DC, used data on weather and the economic success of farming to model the effect of future warming on the predicted income from farming.

For a temperature increase of 3.5% from late 20th-century averages, the model predicts that India will lose between 7 and 17% of its income from farming

Studies that focus on the biological relationship between weather and crop yield instead of the economic connection between weather and farming revenue, on the other hand, predict a 30 to 40% loss of yield.

what can Brazil and India do to adapt to climate change in the future?

believes that switching to crops and livestock that can stand the heat
is going to be crucial
. “Irrigation may make Indian farms more robust
now, but water reservoirs may also dry up as the climate warms and many
farms are not near them in any case,” he says.