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Opinion
Adam Minter

Climate Change Doesn’t Have to Spell Doom for Farms and Food

A Q&A with Jeffrey Dukes, a Purdue University ecologist, on the impact of global warming on agriculture and the best ways for societies to manage it.

Getting smarter.

Getting smarter.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The world's leading climate scientists have issued six assessments of the state of climate-change knowledge since 1990. The first five were influential, driving efforts to build global climate agreements. The sixth report, issued four days after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, has been largely overlooked.

That's unfortunate. The new report of the International Panel on Climate Change sketches out the present and future of a changing globe. Among the most profound effect of global warming will be the impact on food production. According to the IPCC, climate change has reduced agricultural productivity by 12.5% since 1961. North America, long one of the world's most productive agricultural regions, already feels the pain. The agony of Ukraine, another key grain producer, just hurts more.