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Increased CA Temperatures Could Negatively Affect Crop Growth, Study Finds

Increased CA Temperatures Could Negatively Affect Crop Growth, Study Finds

By Mallika Seshadri

Increased temperatures could negatively affect popular produce crops by the year 2045, altering the livelihoods of California farmers and heightening the risks of California food insecurity, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The study found that in light of climate change, cool-season crops, which require lower temperatures to survive, may now have to be grown during specific times of the year, while warm-season crops might have to be relocated to thrive in higher temperatures.

“California produces most of our produce,” said Alison Marklein, the lead author of the study. “We definitely need to be predicting how we will be able to continue growing these crops in the future.”

At the beginning of their four-year endeavor, the study’s researchers selected five crops grown at particularly high rates in California: broccoli, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and cantaloupes.

These crops were also chosen because they are frequently donated to food banks and are seen as critical to maintaining food security, according to Marklein.

“The way climate change affects these crops is going to have an impact on vulnerable populations, the nutritional security of vulnerable populations,” Marklein said.

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