Can biotechnology help meet the growing demand for food?
Agriculture has contributed to climate change in many ways, for instance through the conversion of forests to farmland and the release of greenhouse gases. Conversely, climate change now threatens to irreversibly damage natural resources on which agriculture depends. The effects of global warming are already visible in much of the world. In some areas, moderate warming can slightly increase crop yields. But overall, negative impacts will increasingly dominate. Floods and droughts become more frequent and severe, which is likely to seriously affect farm productivity and the livelihoods of rural communities, and increase the risk of conflicts over land and water. Also, climate change encourages the spread of pests and invasive species and may increase the geographical range of some diseases. Some land use management approaches can help mitigate global warming. These include planting trees, restoring degraded land, conserving natural habitats, and improving soil and fertility management.