Monday, January 14, 2008

Global warming may change the food we eat

Canadians are a well-fed bunch. We do not generally have to worry about our food supply. For most of us, it’s just a matter of heading to the nearest grocery store. But global warming and the need to move toward more sustainable ways of food production could gradually change what we eat and how we get it.
Most people have heard about the problems associated with global warming and what it will do to our climate. We are more likely to get longer periods of drought, for example, and heat waves could become more frequent or more intense. That could pose serious problems for our farmers, especially on the Prairies.
But if global warming also lengthens the growing season, it would have a beneficial impact on farming in Canada — at least in some areas. Although more carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere from burning oil and gas is the primary culprit behind global warming, carbon dioxide itself can actually enhance plant growth. Commercial growers often take advantage of this enhanced growth by adding carbon dioxide to the air inside their greenhouses.
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