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Expertos: amenaza el cambio climático la producción agrícola

Fecha: 
Mar, 2015-02-17

Las intensas sequías afectarán cultivos

Afp
 
Periódico La Jornada
Martes 17 de febrero de 2015, p. 35

San José.

La aceleración del cambio climático y su impacto sobre la producción agrícola implica que se necesitarán profundas mutaciones sociales en las próximas décadas para alimentar la creciente población mundial, alertaron investigadores en una conferencia científica anual.

Según los especialistas, la producción alimentaria deberá duplicarse en los próximos 35 años para alimentar a una población mundial de 9 mil millones de habitantes en 2050, contra 7 mil millones en la actualidad.

Alimentar al mundo implicará cambios en términos de minimizar el factor climático, dijo Jerry Hatfield, director del Laboratorio Nacional para la Agricultura y el Medio Ambiente.

La volatilidad de las lluvias, las frecuentes sequías y el incremento de las temperaturas afectan los cultivos de granos, por lo que se deberá adoptar medidas, afirmó el domingo pasado, durante la reunión anual de la asociación estadunidense para el avance de la ciencia.

Si se evalúa la producción desde el año 2000 al 2050, básicamente deberíamos producir la misma cantidad de alimentos que elaboraron en los pasados 500 años, pronosticó.

Pero globalmente, los niveles de uso de la tierra y la productividad continuarán degradando el suelo, advirtió.

Sobre la proyección para el Medio Oeste (de Estados Unidos), estamos convencidos de que las temperaturas se incrementarán bastante, afirmó Kenneth Kunkel, climatólogo de la Administración Nacional Oceánica y Atmosférica estadunidense, refiriéndose a la región cerealera del centro del país.

Kunkel estudió el impacto del calentamiento global en el Medio Oeste, donde la mayor amenaza para la seguridad alimentaria es la sequía.

La probabilidad es alta de que esa región registre en el siglo XXI, la peor sequía de las que se han presentado en el pasado milenio, constituyendo una amenaza directa para los habitantes del área, alertaron científicos el jueves, durante la apertura de la conferencia, efectuada en San José, California.

El cambio climático se está produciendo tan rápidamente que los seres humanos pronto enfrentarán una situación sin precedentes, dijo Kunkel.

James Gerber, un experto agrícola de la Universidad de Minnesota, dijo que reducir el desperdicio de alimentos y el consumo de carnes rojas ayudaría.

La reducción del número de cabezas de ganado disminuye el impacto ambiental, incluidas las emisiones de metano, un potente gas que produce el efecto invernadero. Gerber dijo que los científicos identificaron tendencias bastante preocupantes, como la disminución global de las reservas de granos, que brindan a la sociedad seguridad.

El científico también expresó su preocupación sobre el hecho de que la mayoría de la producción de granos está concentrada en áreas vulnerables al calentamiento climático.

Gerber no descartó un mayor uso de los OGM como medio de incrementar la disponibilidad de alimentos.

Paul Ehrlich, presidente del Centro para la Conservación Biológica de la Universidad de Stanford, dijo que el problema requiere un real cambio social y cultural en todo el planeta.

Si tuviéramos mil años para resolverlo, estaría muy tranquilo, pero podríamos tener sólo 10 o 20, advirtió.