[Ludwig Maximilians University] Russia, Canada and China are projected to gain farmland this century as the world warms up due to climate change, even as global crop-growing capacity may decline, a German study showed.
Climate change could add 5.6 million square kilometers (2.2 million square miles) of land for crops in the 2071-2100 period compared with 1981-2010, mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, according to researchers at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. Because land suitable for triple cropping may be reduced, the net effect would be a loss of 7.8 million square kilometers of land for farming, the study found.
The study, Russia is set to gain 3.1 million square kilometers of land suitable for agriculture, Canada farmland would expand by 2.1 million square kilometers and China would gain 0.9 million square kilometers.
Green on the map is good, Yellow is bad This map summarizes the projected impact of climate change on the worldwide distribution of land suitable for agriculture in the year 2100. While new cropland is predicted to become available in the Northern hemisphere(green), conditions are expected to deteriorate in other areas, including the Mediterranean region (brown). (Source: Dr. Florian Zabel, LMU)
China is clearly less incentivized to act quickly on reducing emissions because China will gain agriculturally for decades.
China, Russia and Canada win big in a warmed world and India and Africa lose big.
Any reasonable feasible shift to lower emissions will take to about 2030 for China to stop growing emissions
Based on China’s carbon intensity pledge, China will have over 30% more emissions in 2020. China will double to triple its power generation by 2030. China would need to achieve emissions intensity reductions equal to its GDP growth for a peak to occur. So 4.2% emissions intensity reduction or 6 times the world average of 0.7% would be needed to offset 4.2% GDP growth. By 2020, China will have run out of rivers to dam for hydro. So non-carbon power will be tougher after 2020 without the large hydro power share.
China needs to ramp up nuclear plant construction to replace all of the coal. One the order of 30 nuclear plants completed each year. China would also have to cap the emissions from cars. Adding 20-30 million cars per year. China will triple its emissions and maybe cap them then. But it won’t be before 2030 and why would China announce it officially now or next year. It is obvious to anyone willing to look at the energy, transportation and economic development and internal politics.
One way for China to accelerate peak emissions would be to massively scale natural gas and nuclear and then use the coal plants less. This would also be deep into the 2020s and tough to bring in before 2030. Natural gas has to be completely built out by China (pipelines, plants, mines). Say China targets 5% GDP growth as being okay in 2030, then 3% efficiency, 2% clean power and 1% actual shutdown of coal or reduction of coal plant usage would be a possible mix to achieve less emissions than the prior year.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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