Collage with wheat, beer in glasses, and donuts

As global temperatures rise, so could the price of everything from cereal and donuts to hamburger buns and beer.

A recent study looked at how rising temperatures in France will affect wheat and barley crops there. Researchers found that if nothing is done to reduce carbon pollution, wheat yields could decline by over 20 percent by the end of the century.

This could have a big impact because grains are central to many people’s diets and are even used to feed livestock.

Matthew Gammans, a graduate student at the University of California-Davis, is one of the authors of the study. He says agricultural innovations, such as heat-resistant crops, could help increase productivity. But those gains will be off-set by the losses caused by warming.

Gammans: “Climate change is just making the climate in France less suitable for wheat and barley agriculture.”

It’s not just France. Climate change is likely to affect agriculture in many regions around the globe. All this as the world’s population continues to grow.

Gammans: “We know that demand for food is increasing, and it’s projected to increase by a lot over the century.”

So if supplies cannot keep up with growing demand, we could see higher prices in the supermarket.

Reporting credit: Mark Knapp/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

Daisy Simmons

Daisy Simmons is a freelance writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience in research-driven storytelling. In addition to contributing to Yale Climate Connections since early 2016, she also...