Farming might just get complicated as climate change breeds hungrier bugs set to consume more than 20 percent of farm produces, says a study published on Thursday in the journal Science.
The effect of the hungry bugs will force farmers to adopt the use of more pesticides, which could worsen the already dilapidated and polluted environment.
According to the findings, there will be a 10 to 25 percent increase in the amount of rice, wheat, and corn lost to pests for every degree Celsius that the global temperatures rise above the optimal average.
Ideally, many countries across the globe are far from meeting the Paris Agreement of keeping the warming below two degrees Celsius.
Notably, at the rate at which these bugs will be consuming crops means that they will have consumed one out of every eight loaves of bread before the product is even made.
Climate models currently project that at the end of the century, the temperatures will have risen four degrees, which means that the insects will consume even more.
The logic behind the hungry insect pests is increased metabolism, which forces them to eat more. Consequently, their life cycles will be faster speeding their reproduction and increase in numbers. As a result, crop yields will diminish significantly even as the human population continues to increase putting additional pressure on the global food supply, says the study.
To arrive at the conclusions, the experts utilized statistical models in simulating the effects of global warming on the feeding and reproduction habits on the insects. Their focus was on corn, wheat, and rice crops as they make 42 percent of the daily calories consumed by beings.
It will be a rough time for farmers considering the imminent reduction in agricultural yields for various factors. In another study done in 2017 and published in Nature Communications journal, it was concluded that the strain from increased temperatures will substantially decrease farming output.
Some factors expected to offset the losses include the increase in beneficial insects and improved irrigation. However, it isn’t conclusive whether insecticides will help in starving off the pests depending on their resistance and the effectiveness of the pesticides.
There is also the problem of unintentionally harming other organisms while using pesticides. Some of these chemicals have also been linked to human health problems and their distribution may also add to global warming.
The solution solely lies in the reduction of the level of greenhouse gases emitted worldwide.