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Climate change makes bugs hungrier, which could threaten our food supply

| | September 5, 2018

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Climate change is already threatening our food supply by raising temperatures and causing wildfires, but as a new study in Science suggests, all this heat is speeding up insect metabolism, making them an even bigger threat to human crops and agriculture. If the problem continues to worsen at the projected speed, this could mean serious consequences for global food supplies.

Using a computer model, a team of researchers from various US universities projected global crop yield based on several different warming scenarios. These models, which specifically focused on crop yield in relation to pest destruction, showed that the amount of crops lost globally each year due to bugs will likely increase by 10 to 25 percent per degree of global surface warming.

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Bugs that live closer to the equator are already built to handle high temperatures. For this reason, study co-author and University of Colorado, Boulder ecologist Josh Tewksbury, Ph.D. tells Inverse, bugs native to more temperate environments will be most affected by the warming climate. This means that crops in northern parts of Europe, North America and Asia will be most severely compromised.

Read full, original article: Crops Already Ravaged by Climate Change Face a New Threat: Hungrier Bugs

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