Free Research Paper On Ecological Affects On Food Supply
Type of paper: Research Paper
Topic: Climate, Agriculture, Chicago, Population, Cold, Trout, Spring, Livestock
Climate comprises of the average variation patterns of humidity, temperature, precipitation, the wind and other factors over an extended period. Agriculture relies heavily on specific climatic conditions. For example, increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature may be beneficial to crops in some areas (Epa.gov, 2015). The climate in the Midwest region of the United States, particularly in Chicago has changed over the last few decades. For example, annual temperatures have increased. Heat waves are more frequent today than they were four decades ago. Cold periods have also become rarer. These changes have been accompanied by a delayed appearance of snow and ice in the fall and early melting in spring. Heavy downpours are twice as frequent as they were a century ago.
These changes could impact positively or negatively on agriculture. In Chicago, wetter conditions in spring make it difficult for crop planting. Increased heat waves, droughts and floods place considerable stress on crops. Higher temperatures also stress livestock. Their productivity decreases and the farmers incur increased costs associated with cooling and ventilation of animal structures. In Chicago, fish populations are also considerably altered by climate change. For example, populations of cold-water fish such as lake trout, brook trout and whitefish decrease (Epa.gov, 2015). Throughout many regions of the world, climate changes threaten forests. Threats may include forest fires, frequent droughts, and increased populations of harmful insects including gypsy moths. Extended periods of drought also affect crops and the final levels of produce. In places like Easter Africa, extended periods of drought affect staple crops such as corn and beans resulting in cases of famine in some areas. Areas that depend on seasonal rivers for livestock farming are also adversely affected.
Epa.gov,. (2015). Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply | Climate Change | US EPA. Retrieved 21 January 2015, from http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/agriculture.html