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Articles by Maggie Severns

Maggie Severns is a senior online editorial fellow at Mother Jones.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture

Global warming could mean big business for controversial agriculture giant Monsanto, which announced earlier this month it was purchasing the climate change-oriented startup Climate Corporation for $930 million.

Agriculture, which uses roughly 40 percent of the world’s land, will be deeply affected by climate change in the coming years. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted [PDF] that warming will lead to pest outbreaks, that climate-related severe weather will impact food security, and that rising temperatures will hurt production for farms in equatorial areas. (In areas farther from the equator, temperature rise is actually estimated to increase production in the short term, then harm production if temperatures continue to rise over 3 degrees C in the long term.) Meanwhile, increases in the global population will make it crucial for farmers to be efficient with their land, says UC Davis professor Tu Jarvis. “The increase in food production, essentially, in the future needs to be in yields — output per acre,” Jarvis says, even wh... Read more

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