For example, northern temperate regions generally benefit from climate change because higher temperatures extend their growing season. However, the crop losses associated with high ozone concentrations will be significant. In contrast, the tropics, already warm, do not benefit from further warming, but they are not as hard hit by ozone damage because ozone-precursor emissions are lower in the tropics.
The net result: regions such as the United States, China, and Europe would need to import food, and supplying those imports would be a benefit to tropical countries.
Reilly warns that the study's climate projections may be overly optimistic. The researchers are now incorporating a more realistic climate simulation into their analysis.
Reilly's colleagues are from MIT and the Marine Biological Laboratory. The research was supported by the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.
It is part of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), an Institute-wide initiative designed to help transform the global energy system to meet the challenges of the future. MITEI includes research, education, campus energy management and outreach activities, an interdisciplinary approach that covers all areas of energy supply and demand, security and environmental impact. For more information, please visit web.mit.edu/mitei/.
|Contact: Elizabeth Thomson|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology