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Most studies of how climate change will impact global food production focus on crops, where the effects of higher temperatures and drier weather are well characterized.

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Some of the most important crops risk substantial damage from rising temperatures.

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A drought on the scale of the legendary Dust Bowl crisis of the 1930’s would have similarly destructive effects on U.S. agriculture today despite technological and agricultural advances, a new study in Nature Plants reports. Additionally, warming temperatures in the future could lead to crop losses at the scale of the Dust Bowl in even normal precipitation years by the middle of the 21st Century, CI/RDCEP scientists conclude.

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With a worldwide population projected to top nine billion in the next 30 years, the amount of food produced globally will need to double. A new study from researchers at the University of Birmingham and the Center for Robust Decision-Making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP) shows that much of the land currently used to grow wheat, maize and rice is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This could lead to a major drop in productivity of these areas by 2050, along with a corresponding increase in potential productivity of many previously-unused areas, pointing to a major shift in the map of global food production.

As climate change drives higher temperatures and more frequent droughts around the world, many predict severe threats to agriculture and food security.

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A panel of British and American researchers, including RDCEP's Joshua Elliott, presented at a Congressional briefing and the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington DC, detailing how extreme events which affect the food system are increasingly likely to occur, resulting in ‘food shocks’.

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The University of Chicago Innovation Fund has been kind to the Computation Institute. One year ago, Parallel.works, led by CI Senior Fellow Mike Wilde, received funding from the UChicago-backed initiative to support entrepreneurship on campus. Last summer, the Array of Things project kept the streak alive, receiving $150,000 to begin manufacturing its sensor nodes. But for the fall round of the Innovation Fund, we doubled down with two winning startups from CI researchers: Navipoint Genomics and Praedictus Climate Solutions.

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One of the most important consequences of climate change will be its effect upon global agriculture and food supply.

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Our planet’s fields and forests, oceans and aquifers, and animals of the land, sea, and sky don’t exist in a vacuum. But too often, environmental and agricultural models treat them as if they do. To truly understand the role climate (and climate change) plays on them, an integrated approach is called for. That’s where the work of Joshua Elliott, research scientist and fellow at the University of Chicago Computation Institute, comes in.

The world’s food supply sits at a precarious balance. Swings in agricultural production due to drought or extreme heat can lead to spiking food prices, ecological damage, civil unrest, and other severe consequences. In a recent talk, the CI's Joshua Elliott estimated that these “once-in-a-century” threats may be far more frequent in the future, necessitating global protective measures.