Global warming may have ‘devastating’ effects on rice

Context:

  • As carbon dioxide rises due to the burning of fossil fuels, rice will lose some of its protein and vitamin content, putting millions of people at risk of malnutrition, scientists warned.

Value Edition:

  • Global warming, climate change and particularly greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide — can have an impact on the nutrient content of plants we eat.
  • “This can have devastating effects on the rice-consuming countries where about 70% of the calories and most of the nutrients come from rice.” Protein and vitamin deficiencies can lead to growth-stunting, birth defects, diarrhoea, infections and early death.
  • Countries at most risk include those that consume the most rice and have the lowest gross domestic product (GDP), such as Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.
  • Researchers found that iron, zinc, protein, and vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B9 — which help the body convert food to energy — were all reduced in the rice grown under higher CO2 conditions.
  • “Vitamin B1 (thiamine) levels decreased by 17.1%; average Vitamin B2 by 16.6%,” said the report.

Source:TH