Friday, March 21, 2008

Melting Glaciers Will Raise Your Grocery Bill

The fast, fast, fast melting of mountain glaciers, especially in the Himalaya and Tibet-Qinghai ranges threatens food prices and food security in China and India, and also paradoxically, in the U.S.
Mountain glaciers contribute a lot of irrigating water to both China’s Yellow River and Yangtze River basins and India’s Ganges River basin. Already stressed underground water resources won’t likely make up the difference if these three major rivers were to become seasonal (dry in summer). China and India are now the first and second producers of wheat and rice (the U.S. is third), and reductions in those crops will cause prices to rise (grain prices are already at historic highs, in part due to ethanol production) and especially in India’s case, food security to fall.
As Brown puts it: “
The world had never faced such a massively predictable reduction of grain harvest. It’s a special irony that the glaciers are melting in the two countries most effected in food security by rising CO2 emissions. These are the same countries planning for the most new coal power plants.”


Post a Comment

<< Home