Large-scale crop failures like the one that caused the recent Russian wheat crisis are likely to become more common under climate change due to an increased frequency of extreme weather events, a new study shows. However, the worst effects of these events on agriculture could be mitigated by improved farming and the development of new crops, according to the research by the University of Leeds, the Met Office Hadley Centre and University of Exeter.
The unpredictability of the weather is one of the biggest challenges faced by farmers struggling to adapt to a changing climate. Some areas of the world are becoming hotter and drier, and more intense monsoon rains carry a risk of flooding and crop damage.
A summer of drought and wildfires has dramatically hit harvests across Russia this year, leading the government to place a ban on wheat exports. This led to a dramatic rise prices on the international commodity markets which is likely to have a knock-on effect in higher prices of consumer goods.