Food, Climate and Carbon Dioxide: The Global Environment and World Food Production

Sylvan H Wittwer 
CRC Press  1995  

Hardback  256 pages  ISBN 9780873717960      £114.00
This book presents a comprehensive and timely discussion on the effects of the rising level of atmospheric carbon dioxide on crop production and plant growth. The emphasis is global. It examines crops of economic value, with special attention to the food crops that stand between people and starvation. The author has brought together his knowledge and 50 years of experience dealing with global food production problems, coupled with and a background of his own premier research on the positive effects of elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on plant growth and crop productivity. Topics addressed include the climate as a resource in food production and climatic impacts and direct effects from rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on crops. The book provides global and regional projections of a CO2 -induced climate change and food production. Food security is discussed and future possibilities for research are presented. Suitable as a text and invaluable as a reference, it presents developments drawn from a wide scientific community and uses language and terminology appropriate for a diverse audience.


  • Introduction
  • Scope of the Volume
  • Role of Climate in Agriculture and Human Progress
  • Historical Aspects
  • Climate as a Resource in Food Production
  • Introduction
  • Temperature
  • Lengths of the Growing Season
  • Interannual Variations
  • Extreme Events
  • Growing Degree Days
  • Water Resources
  • Precipitation Patterns
  • Irrigation
  • Drought
  • The Chemical Climate
  • Sunlight, Solar Energy, and Cloud Cover
  • Protected Cultivation - Controlled Environment Agriculture
  • Climatic Impacts from Rising Levels of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Other Greenhouse Gases
  • Introduction: Historical Records, Current Status, and Projections
  • Temperature
  • Precipitation
  • Rapidity of Climate Change
  • Lengthening of Growing Season
  • Frosts and Freezes - Frequency and Timing
  • Frequency of Drought
  • Enhancement of Potential Evapotranspiration
  • Crop Modeling
  • Climate and Food Scenarios
  • Direct Effects of Rising Levels of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide on Crops
  • Introduction and History
  • Photosynthetic Capacity
  • Water Use Efficiency
  • Irrigated Crop Production
  • Interactions with Air Pollutants
  • Pest Control - Species Competition
  • Crop Responses - Differential Effects of Plant Parts
  • Biological Nitrogen Fixation
  • Mutually Compensating Growth Factors
  • Greenhouse Crop Production
  • Global and Regional Projections of a CO2-Induced Climate Change and Food Production
  • Introduction: Food Production and the Resource Base
  • The Major Food Crops
  • Forest Trees and Forests
  • Vegetable Crops
  • Rangelands, Grazing Lands, Wetlands
  • Aquatic Plants
  • Other Considerations
  • Livestock and Poultry: The Food Animals
  • Global Implications for Developed and Developing Economies
  • Other Implications of Climate Change and Food Security
  • Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
  • Biodiversity
  • Rise in Sea Levels
  • Adaptation of Food Production to Climate Change as Reflected by Geographical Shifts in Crops and Livestock
  • Impact of Agricultural Practices on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change
  • Policy Strategies Relating to World Agriculture and the Rising Level of Greenhouses Gases
  • Research Directions for the Future
  • The "No Regret" Approach
  • Climate Change
  • The Biological Component
  • Epilogue
  • References
  • Index

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CRC Press : agriculture & forestry : atmosphere and air pollution : carbon cycle : climate change : climatology : crops : environmental science : food crops : food science

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