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A Fifth of Food-Output Growth Has Been Lost to Climate Change

  • New study says world has lost seven years of production growth
  • Extreme weather is driving food inflation, hunger higher
A farmer carries a bundle of cut wheat to a thresher during harvesting in a field in Pakistan.

A farmer carries a bundle of cut wheat to a thresher during harvesting in a field in Pakistan.

Photographer: Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg

Climate change has been holding back food production for decades, with a new study showing that about 21% of growth for agricultural output was lost since the 1960s.

That’s equal to losing the last seven years of productivity growth, according to research led by Cornell University and published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study was funded by a unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.