Grow your own way
Study: Trade may not help a warming planet fight its farming failures.


Warming temperatures will take a heavy toll on agricultural productivity, according to climate scientists. How will society adjust? One possibility might be increased trade: If one country suffers a decline in, say, wheat production but can still grow as much rice as ever, then — in theory — it might grow more rice and trade for its usual amount of wheat instead.

But a new study co-authored by Arnaud Costinot, MIT professor of economics and an expert on international trade issues, suggests that international trade will do little to alleviate climate-induced farming problems. Instead, the report indicates that countries will have to alter their own patterns of crop production to lessen farming problems — and even then, there will be significant net losses in production under the basic scenarios projected by climate scientists.  

Read the full story at MIT News

Find more SHASS stories on the Environment