Chinese Grain Production Benefiting from Global Warming

Published August 24, 2007

The Reuters news service reported on August 23 that global warming could cause a 10-percent decline in China’s grain harvest by 2030, creating a disastrous food shortfall in the world’s most populous nations. Sound science, however, shows that our moderate global warming is having exactly the opposite effect on grain production.

Just-released data shows that in 2007, Chinese “summer grain output rose for the fourth consecutive year,” reported the August 8 China Daily. Indeed, “grain production is expected to remain stable in the coming years,” China Daily added.

The increase in grain production is occurring even though Chinese farmland is shrinking due to urbanization.

China’s successful grain production, moreover, is typical of record crop production occurring all over the world. For example, production of grain and other U.S. crops has set record after record this decade, as has crop production in nations all over the world. Scientist report that higher atmospheric carbon dioxide and unusually benign weather patterns are important factors in such higher crop production.

While the Reuters article is disturbing in its willingness to play up alarmist global warming scares at the expense of sound science and real-world data, it does provide a good opportunity to test, and soundly refute, still more baseless and irresponsible global warming speculation.

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute.