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Climate Change and Global Warming

  • Date Submitted: 02/27/2012 06:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46.3 
  • Words: 2594
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Global warming and climate change is looked at in this section of the global issues web site. Introduced are some of the effects of climate change. In addition, this section attempts to provide insights into what governments, companies, international institutions, and other organizations are attempting to do about this issue, as well as the challenges they face. Some of the major conferences in recent years are also discussed.

Increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere as a result of climate change will alter global temperatures and rainfall amounts.  These factors will influence how well plants grow and affect food production.
Higher temperatures cause heat stress in plants. This means they grow less and produce fewer crops. In some cases, the plants do not reproduce at all since excessive heat causes sterility of the pollen (the masculine reproductive part of the flowers).
A temperature increase may be beneficial in areas which are very cold at present.  For example, in Siberia or Northern Europe it may, in the future, be possible to grow crops for longer periods of the year.
Changes to our climate are happening more quickly now than they have ever done before in the geological past.  Plants will have to adapt to new climate conditions more rapidly than they have ever had to do so before. 
[pic]Corn fields during normal weather and during a drought period. Corn field in USA.
Water availability directly affects the growth of plants and how much crop they produce. The pictures above show corn fields in Africa under normal weather conditions and during drought when nothing grows.  In most parts of Africa there is not enough water even in normal conditions for high crop yields.  In contrast, in the USA, corn is grown with enough water and difference in crop growth between the continents can be clearly seen.


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