. Energy News .

Climate change to deal blow to fruits, nuts: study
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 28, 2011

Climate change is expected to alter the global industry in fruits and nuts dramatically as tree crops such as pistachios and cherries struggle in the rising temperatures, researchers said.

A study said that even if polluters took greater action to cut carbon emissions, the impact of climate change will likely be severe enough that the nearly $100 billion-a-year fruit and nut industry needs to reassess planning.

Trees in temperate regions evolved to need a chilly period so they can grow in the spring. Rising temperatures pose a special problem for temperate but comparatively warm areas where the winter chill is already in short supply.

The study, published in May by the online journal PLoS One, expected fruit and nut trees to be highly affected in California, the southeastern United States, China's Yunnan province and southern and southwestern Australia.

Areas that have already seen the worst losses of winter chill include Israel, Morocco, Tunisia and the Cape region of South Africa, the study said.

Common fruits and nuts in the warmer temperate areas include pistachios, which are popular in Iran and California, along with walnuts, cherries and peaches.

Co-author Eike Luedeling of the Nairobi-based World Agroforestry Centre said that farmers making long-term investments needed to realize quickly that fruits and nuts are more vulnerable than many other crops.

"If I'm growing wheat or maize, then from one year to the next I can decide whether to plant a little late or plant a little earlier or plant a different variety," Luedeling said.

"But for trees, you can't. Once you've made a decision to plant a certain crop, you're locked in for 30 years," he said.

Luedeling, who observed the problem of declining yields while researching trees in Oman, said that the economic impact of climate change to fruits and nuts would depend on decisions being made now.

"If farmers wake up to the reality of climate change and start making these adjustments -- switching to cultivars that are appropriate in the future, but not necessarily now yet -- then the disruption to markets could be minimal," he said.

"But if we don't, if farmers believe they can keep doing what their grandfathers have done, then we will see some serious problems," he said.

Climate change is forecast to have less impact on cooler temperate regions and the winter chill may actually increase in some colder regions, the study found.

Co-author Evan Girvetz, a senior climate scientist at The Nature Conservancy, a US environmental group, said cooler regions had a greater window for rising temperatures as they started out with more days of winter chill.

But many warmer areas are "already on that edge of not having enough cold temperatures during the winter for good fruit and nut production," Girvetz said.

"They have years when you don't have enough full production and as we move into the future, we are finding that that's going to become more common," he said.

Even if the world cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions, "we are still projecting that the suitability for growing these crops is likely to decrease," he said.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in a major report in 2007 forecast that the world would heat up by 1.8 to 4.0 degrees Celsius (3.2-7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 compared with pre-industrial levels and that some damage was irreversible.

However, political momentum to fight climate change has since declined, especially in the United States, with a number of conservative lawmakers raising doubts about the science and saying that action is too costly.

Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Anti-GM food protest leaves 18 injured in Belgium
Brussels (AFP) May 29, 2011
Environmental activists stormed a field of genetically modified potatoes in Belgium Sunday, breaking through a security cordon in a raid that left police and protesters injured, authorities and organisers said. Police said they briefly detained around 40 people taking part in the "Field Liberation Movement", which aimed to destroy the research crop in the northwestern town of Wetteren, accor ... read more

Satellite observations show potential to improve ash cloud forecasts

For Aquarius, Sampling Seas No 'Grain of Salt' Task

NASA satellite helps find 17 Egypt pyramids

Satellites reveal 'lost' Egyptian pyramids

EU to launch Galileo satellites this fall

Galileo: Europe prepares for October launch

EU announces launch date for first Galileo satellites

Europe's first EGNOS airport to guide down giant Beluga aircraft

Destruction of Brazil's Atlantic Forest falls 55%: study

Global Warming May Affect the Capacity of Trees to Store Carbon

Brazil farm interests score one against forest protection

Environmentalist husband, wife shot dead in Brazil

Study details path to sustainable aviation biofuels industry in Northwest

New sustainable bio-derived jet fuel industry is achievable

Teaching algae to make fuel

Aviation biofuels for Australia?

Positive Energy completes construction of 2MW PV park

Historic Green Energy Deal Funds Long-Term School Roof Renewal

Tecta Solar Installs PV System for GlaxoSmithKline

Dairy Installs 3200 Solar Panels

Windpower 2011 highlights industry trends and job creation

Google backs wind energy in California desert

Evolutionary lessons for wind farm efficiency

Global warming won't harm wind energy production, climate models predict

13 dead in China mine accidents: state media

Massey Energy blamed for mine disaster

Targeted regeneration could be key to boosting coalfield communities

Seven dead in China mine accident: state media

US museums walk tightrope after China arrest

China clamps down on Inner Mongolia to quash demos

Frustrated Chinese take justice into own hands

Exam-obsessed Hong Kong makes celebrity tutors rich

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement