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Increasing Drought and Heat to Change Locations and Dates of Future Crops

Research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that increasingly hot and dry conditions will change where and when crops can be grown by 2045. Although a third of the vegetables and two-thirds of the fruits and nuts consumed by Americans are currently grown in California, the regions where they are grown may become too hot and dry for continued production in 20 years. The paper “Projected temperature increases may require shifts in the growing season of cool-season crops and the growing locations of warm-season crops” was published in Science of the Total Environment. “If crops can no longer be grown in their current locations, then the farmer has to either move to a new area or grow a different crop, which presents a practical and economic burden on the farmer,” notes the study’s lead author.