. Energy News .

Crop pests moving polewards through global warming
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Sept 01, 2013

Crop-damaging insects, bacteria, fungus and viruses are moving poleward by nearly three kilometres (two miles) each year, helped by global warming, a study said on Sunday.

A team at Britain's University of Exeter trawled through two huge databases to chart the latitude and dates for the earliest record of 612 crop pests.

Since 1960, these pests have been heading either northwards or southwards at a rate of around 2.7 kilometres (1.7 miles) yearly.

They move into land that opens up for habitat because of higher temperature and its impact on local weather.

The distance is an average figure, as some pests have travelled faster or slower than this.

Over the last half-century, global surface temperatures have risen by an average of 0.12 degrees Celsius (0.2 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade.

Countries at higher latitudes have more resources than economies in tropical zones in combatting the problem, and regions that previously were too cold for agriculture will also open up to the plough.

Even so, the peril of advancing pests should not be under-estimated, as these countries are the planet's biggest and most productive crop growers, says the paper.

"If crop pests continue to march polewards as the Earth warms, the combined effects of a growing world population and the increased loss of crops to pests will pose a serious threat to global food security," said one of the authors, Dan Bebber.

The study, appearing in the journal Nature Climate Change, cites previously published estimates that between 10 and 16 percent of the world's crop production is lost to pests.

Losses of this kind add to the challenge of feeding the world's population, which currently stands at 7.2 billion and is projected to reach 10.9 billion by 2100.

Half of the pests are spread by humans, hitchhiking for instance on traded produce, and half are spread by the weather.

Recent examples include the mountain pine beetle, a highly damaging pest for forests, which has moved into newly warmed habitats in the US Pacific northwest.

There is also fusarium head blight, also called scab, which has emerged as a threat to wheat in the United States, its spread encouraged by warm, wet weather.

Another peril is rice blast fungus, which is present in over 80 countries and has now moved to wheat.


Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

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

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Get Our Free Newsletters
Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear


Study: Ogallala Aquifer being drained by U.S. farmers
Manhattan, Kan. (UPI) Aug 28, 2013
The Ogallala Aquifer, a reservoir of groundwater underlying eight western states, is being rapidly drained, Kansas State University researchers say. In a study released Monday, a research team led by David Steward, a professor of civil engineering, predicted the aquifer will be 69 percent depleted by 2060 at current rates of use. Replacing the water in the aquifer would take from 500 t ... read more

NASA Data Reveals Mega-Canyon under Greenland Ice Sheet

Map carved onto surface of ostrich egg may be oldest showing New World

Thai villagers mistake Google worker for government snoop

Norway says no to Apple request to photograph Oslo for 3-D maps

Satellite tracking of zebra migrations in Africa is conservation aid

'Spoofing' attack test takes over ship's GPS navigation at sea

Orbcomm Globaltrak Completes Shipment Of Fuel Monitoring Solution In Afghanistan

Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite Prototype To Help Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Prep For Launch

African desert plantations could help carbon capture

To protect Amazon, Colombia enlarges nature reserve

Brazil Amazon town takes a stand against deforestation

Rising deforestation sparks concern in Brazil Amazon

Canadian scientists unravel camelina biofuel genome

New possibilities for efficient biofuel production

Microbial Who-Done-It For Biofuels

Microorganisms found in salt flats could offer new path to green hydrogen fuel

India preparing first floating solar power station

Chicago Area EV Charging Station Equipped with Solar Canopy and Lithium-ion Battery

Solar Industry Capital Expenditures Set to Rebound as Emerging Economies Boost Production

Second round of solar auction to light up Australia's capital

No evidence of residential property value impacts near US wind turbines

French court rejects planned wind farm near Mont Saint Michel

China to Remain Wind Power Market Leader in 2020

Localized wind power blowing more near homes, farms and factories

India's 'Coalgate' deepens

Australia's coal sector enduring toughest operating environment

Greenpeace warns water pollution from German coal mining on the rise

Greenpeace says Chinese coal company exploiting water

China's anti-graft body orders mooncakes off the menu

Girl, 3, killed by bulldozer in China land dispute

Bo trial reveals lifestyles of China's rich and infamous

Bo trial ends, China prosecutors demand heavy sentence

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. 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