Washington: The Earth will be 2.4 degree Celsius warmer by 2020 if the world continues with the business-as-usual approach to climate change and India would be one of the hardest hit countries witnessing upto 30 per cent reduction in crop yields, a new study has claimed.
The rising temperatures will adversely affect the world's food production and India would be the hardest hit, according to the analysis by the Universal Ecological Fund (FEU-US), the US subsidiary of FEU founded in Argentina in 1990.
The report titled 'The Food Gap -- The Impacts of Climate Change on Food Production: A 2020 Perspective' predicted that crop yield in India, the second largest world producer of rice and wheat, would fall up to 30 per cent by the end of this decade.
The report, however, noted that the impacts of climate change would vary from region to region. While central and southern region would witness adverse impacts, the impacts could be beneficial for East and South-East Asia, the report predicted.
The two most populated countries in the world, India and China, would experience different impacts. While India could see a fall in its crop yield, China -- the largest producer of rice and wheat in the world -- is expected to increase its crop yields up to 20 per cent, said the report.
However, the overall impact of a warmer planet on global food production would be massive, said the report, adding that the most significant impacts would be on the top 20 producers of each of the four crops: wheat, rice, maize and soybean, respectively.
It has predicted that global wheat production during that time would experience a 14 per cent deficit between production and demand; while there will be an 11 per cent deficit in rice production and 9 per cent in maize (corn) production. Soybean is the only crop showing an increase in global production, with an estimated 5 per cent surplus, the report said.
"The evidence that man-made greenhouse gases would cause the temperature of the planet to rise has been available for almost two decades. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Fourth Assessment Report (2007) has concluded that, unequivocally, the Earth's warming is anthropogenic (man-made)," said FEU scientific adviser Dr Osvaldo Canziani, the former Co-Chair of Working Group II of the IPCC.
The analysis and data utilised to produce the report is based on key documents already published by the IPCC and other UN agencies.
"The key to our report was to analyse, synthesise and update published documents and data from disparate sources and present it in an accessible way," Liliana Hisas, Executive Director of FEU-US and author of the report, said.