"Rapidly warming climate is likely to seriously alter crop yields in the tropics and subtropics by the end of this century and, without adaptation, will leave half the world's population facing serious food shortages, new research shows.
To compound matters, the population of this equatorial belt -- from about 35 degrees north latitude to 35 degrees south latitude -- is among the poorest on Earth and is growing faster than anywhere else.
"The stresses on global food production from temperature alone are going to be huge, and that doesn't take into account water supplies stressed by the higher temperatures," said David Battisti, a University of Washington atmospheric sciences professor.
Battisti is lead author of the study in the Jan. 9 edition of Science. He collaborated with Rosamond Naylor, director of Stanford University's Program on Food Security and the Environment, to examine the impact of climate change on the world's food security."