Almost three-quarters of the world’s current food production will face extreme risks from heat stress by 2045, according to new research from Verisk Maplecroft, impacting food production in major economies such as China, India, Brazil, and the United States.
“If emissions remain unchecked and temperatures continue to rise, extreme heat-related disruptions to global food supply chains will become increasingly common,” says Verisk Maplecroft’s head of climate and resilience Will Nichols. “This will further raise prices, strain economies and push millions toward hunger.”
- Agriculture ranked highest for both current and future heat stress risks in the dataset, which measures 52 different risks for 198 countries across 80 industries. The data reveals that heat stress already poses an extreme risk to agriculture in 20 countries. That number rises to 64 under future climate conditions, according to an RCP8.5 worst-case high emissions scenario, modelling 2°C of warming above pre-industrial levels by mid-century. This will affect countries that currently account for 71% of global food production, with crops such as rice, cocoa and tomatoes set to be worst affected.
- Nine of the 10 worst affected are in Africa.
- The United States, the world’s top agricultural exporter, and China, the world’s largest agricultural producer, will both be extreme risk for heat stress by 2045.