Food, Climate, and Carbon Dioxide : The Global Environment and World Food Production book cover
1st Edition

Food, Climate, and Carbon Dioxide
The Global Environment and World Food Production

ISBN 9780873717960
Published July 14, 1995 by CRC Press
256 Pages

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Book Description

Food, Climate, and Carbon Dioxide presents the most comprehensive and up-to-date discussion on the effects of the rising level of atmospheric carbon dioxide on crop production and plant growth. The emphasis is global. It examines crops of economic value, with special attention to the food crops that stand between people and starvation.
The author has brought together his knowledge and 50 years of experience dealing with global food production problems, coupled with and a background of his own premier research on the positive effects of elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on plant growth and crop productivity. Topics addressed include the climate as a resource in food production and climatic impacts and direct effects from rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on crops. The book provides global and regional projections of a CO2 -induced climate change and food production. Food security is discussed and future possibilities for research are presented. Suitable as a text and invaluable as a reference, it presents the latest developments drawn from a wide scientific community and uses language and terminology appropriate for a diverse audience.

Table of Contents

Scope of the Volume
Role of Climate in Agriculture and Human Progress
Historical Aspects
Climate as a Resource in Food Production
Lengths of the Growing Season
Interannual Variations
Extreme Events
Growing Degree Days
Water Resources
Precipitation Patterns
The Chemical Climate
Sunlight, Solar Energy, and Cloud Cover
Protected Cultivation - Controlled Environment Agriculture
Climatic Impacts from Rising Levels of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Other Greenhouse Gases
Introduction: Historical Records, Current Status, and Projections
Rapidity of Climate Change
Lengthening of Growing Season
Frosts and Freezes - Frequency and Timing
Frequency of Drought
Enhancement of Potential Evapotranspiration
Climate Modeling and Analogs
Crop Modeling
Climate and Food Scenarios
Direct Effects of Rising Levels of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide on Crops
Introduction and History
Photosynthetic Capacity
Water Use Efficiency
Irrigated Crop Production
Interactions with Air Pollutants
Pest Control - Species Competition
Crop Responses - Differential Effects of Plant Parts
Biological Nitrogen Fixation
Mutually Compensating Growth Factors
Greenhouse Crop Production
Global and Regional Projections of a CO2-Induced Climate Change and Food Production
Introduction: Food Production and the Resource Base
The Major Food Crops
Forest Trees and Forests
Vegetable Crops
Rangelands, Grazing Lands, Wetlands
Aquatic Plants
Other Considerations
Livestock and Poultry: The Food Animals
Global Implications for Developed and Developing Economies
Other Implications of Climate Change and Food Security
Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
Rise in Sea Levels
Adaptation of Food Production to Climate Change as Reflected by Geographical Shifts in Crops and Livestock
Impact of Agricultural Practices on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change
Policy Strategies Relating to World Agriculture and the Rising Level of Greenhouses Gases
Research Directions for the Future
The "No Regret" Approach
Climate Change
The Biological Component

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Wittwer\, Sylvan H.


"I consider this book a 'must' reading for all persons working with 'Global Change' or 'greenhouse warming' issues. It is also an excellent summary for the non-technical reader wanting to better understand the State of the art science and the potential of interactions for many complex biological responses resulting from increasing atmosphere levels of greenhouse gases, particularly for food production. Wittwer's 'Food, Climate, and Carbon Dioxide' highlights the importance of climate and weather as a natural resource in global agricultural production. It outlines the complex interactions between climate and weather and biological systems globally and nationally. The role of climate and weather variability and extremes, usually ignored by the 'greenhouse warming' community, is correctly identified as being of greater importance to world food production, as it has been in the past and during the present time and will be in the future. The variability and extremes are the keys to future food supplies, regardless of whether the potential for global warming is achieved as projected by the limited capabilities of current General Circulation models (GCMs).
-Norton D. Strommen
Chief Meteorologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, World Agricultural Outlook Board