UACES Facebook USDA/ARS Ziska, Climate Change, CO2 and Food Security: Challenges and Solutions
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Host and Interviewer


Bobby Coats
Professor - Economics

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

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Mary Poling
Coordinator of Interactive Communications

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
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USDA/ARS Ziska, Climate Change, CO2 and Food Security: Challenges and Solutions

by Bobby Coats - February 28, 2019

Energy, climate and water have been an integral part of food security in the 20th century. The reliance of modern agriculture on these three parameters is the basis for the green revolution paradigm. This paradigm requires cheap energy (i.e. fertilizer), available water (i.e. irrigation), and a stable climate in order to provide the food, fiber and fuel needs for a population of approximately 7 billion people. Unfortunately, it is increasingly clear that all three parameters are changing rapidly and unpredictably. Consequently the ability to maintain, not only the current food supply (principally cereals), but to meet the caloric needs of the additional 2 billion individuals anticipated by 2040 is quickly being recognized as a global “stress test” of science and agriculture. Here I overviewed both the direct (water, climate) and indirect (nutrition, pollinators) factors that are likely contributing to changes in cereal productivity. In addition, I outlined a set of probable strategies that can, potentially, address these challenges; including polyculture, energy efficiency, CO2 breeding and improved pest management.




Dr. Ziska, Plant Physiologist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland

Dr. Ziska is a Plant Physiologist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland. After graduating from the University of California, Davis, he began his career as a Smithsonian fellow, and then took up residence as the Project Leader for global climate change at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines before joining USDA. Since joining USDA, Dr. Ziska has published over 100 peer-reviewed research articles related to climate change and rising carbon dioxide that address: (1) Agriculture and Food Security; (2) Weeds and weed management; (3) Invasive species; (4) Plant biology and public health.

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