If global temperatures rise by just four degrees celsius, the forecast is cloudy with a chance of obliteration. Khanna’s latest book is Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization (http://goo.gl/fUVuXR).
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Transcript - If global temperatures rise four degrees Celsius above the 1990 baseline temperature level used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, and that may happen by 2040, 2050 or around that time based on present temperature sort of rise trajectory. That would have a very devastating impact on global food production. Right now the countries of the world that are the largest food producers such as the United States, Brazil, China, India, Australia – if the temperature rise by four degrees Celsius several decades from now it could be that the food production is generally wiped out in many of those geographies because of desertification, crop failure and so forth. Already there’s a lack of sufficient water irrigation and fresh water supply for agriculture in Australia. We see water tables falling in the western United States and so forth. Meanwhile if temperatures do rise to that degree and in fact temperatures rise the fastest in the northern latitudes of the world and the southern latitudes in other words at the poles. Whereas sea levels rise fastest at the equator. And so what we’ll find is that in a world that’s four degrees Celsius warmer a large amount of the world’s food production is predicted to take place in today’s Canada and Russia.
Now Canada and Russia are the two largest countries in the world by geographic territory. But they are also perhaps ironically two of the world’s most depopulated countries. Their populations are very small and very concentrated in very, very small areas. Most of the Canadian population for example lives very close to the United States border. And most of Russia’s population lives west of the Euro mountains very close to Eastern Europe. Whereas about six-sevenths of Russia’s territory, this vast geography known, a large chunk of it is known as Siberia for example is largely uninhabited. But if you project forward where food will be grown in a world that is that much warmer in fact these depopulated areas of Canada and Russia may be the world’s breadbaskets. The problem is there’s no people. And so of course we would have to think about who are the people who are going to live there? Might we need to have population transfers and mass migrations for people to work in the agricultural sector or to develop the agribusiness industries of these countries to feed the planet.
Because after all it will not be the United States and Canada, the United States and China and India and Australia and Brazil that are feeding the world. It’ll be Canada and Russia that are feeding the world. So the food supply chain on a global basis is going to shift and move and become much more dependent on these northern geographies. And so this is the prediction that a number of scientists have made and that’s of course going to require a significant rethinking of the meaning of political geography when we depend so much on just two countries for our food. Read Full Transcript Here: http://goo.gl/STRRY2.
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