“Liu Changxiong has been farming in this southwestern Chinese village for more than a decade, but his years of experience aren’t of much use these days.” Are we really supposed to worry that a guy with “more than a decade”‘s experience didn’t get the rain he expected this year?
Last year, his corn seedlings withered at a time Liu expected would be rich in rain. It took twice as many days for his green onions to grow than Liu’s estimates. But the 43-year-old farmer isn’t the one to be blamed. Instead, experts say, his farming routine is being messed up by climate change.
Similar phenomena are happening across the nation. In north China, where wheat fields have dominated the landscape for centuries, the crop is becoming increasingly difficult to grow as the land gets drier and warmer. In southern China, droughts in recent years have replaced rainy seasons, drying up rice paddies on a large scale.
A changing climate means the crops, the meat and the seafood we’ve come to expect may not be as plentiful in the future as the world’s population expands.
Experts are scrambling to understand the problems and to predict how serious they might become. Although forecasts for crop output vary, most agree that the future climate won’t be as favorable to agriculture. While China’s hunt for adaptation measures is on, little progress has been made so far.
China has thousands of years history of periodical drought, famine and civil unrest but now it’s supposed to be driven by a trace gas that actually improves water efficiency in plants? Right…