Rising CO2 Reduces Food Crops’ Protein Content
New research published in the journal ‘Global Change Biology’ has revealed that increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 stand to have a great impact on the protein content of the world’s key food crops. Researchers examined the protein content of barley, rice. wheat, soybean and potato when exposed to differing CO2 concentrations. At the level of atmospheric CO2 projected for 2100, under current scenarios, the protein content of the crops was found to have decreased by approximately 14%. Many of the world’s poorest people depend on these crops as staple food supplies. In Bangladesh for example, 75% of the population’s diet consists of these crops.
The researchers found that farmers could mitigate this effect by increasing their use of nitrogen-rich fertiliser, although this has significant environmental implications.
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