Climate change involves several factors, this time it could interfere with tomato production, which is bad news for lovers of ketchup, pizza and other tomato products.
According to a study published in Nature’s food in June this year, rising temperatures project a global decline in production and profitability of the “tomato cultivation”- used in ketchup and other vegetable products.
According to Phys.org, up to 2050world supply of tomato processing is expected to decline 6% compared to the reference study of 1990-2009with Italian culture among the most affected.
“Tomatoes are grown in open fields, which means we can’t control the environment in which they grow. This makes production vulnerable to climate change, “said the study’s lead author. David Cammaranoprofessor at Aarhus University.
Second Dev NiyogiUT Jackson School of Geosciences professor and co-author of the study, while the impact of climate on food supplies is widely investigated, most of the focus has been on commodities such as wheat and rice.
This study is one of the first to analyze the global impact of climate change on tomatoes.
“We know very little about how climate change will affect specialty crops such as tomatoes, which have an incredible effect. world food footprintin addition to being a important source of nutrients and an ingredient in kitchens around the world, ”Niyogi said.
The researchers used five different climate models to create three different scenarios, projecting how rising temperatures will affect tomato production, focusing on the world’s top three tomato-producing countries: United States – California in particular – Italy and China.
Together, these countries produce around 65% of tomatoes grown in the world.
Although the results varied in degree, all the projected scenarios pointed to a future in which the tomato production will change drastically in the coming decades.
Most scenarios show that all three countries are experiencing a steady decline in production over the next 30-40 years. In the study, the researchers detail different factors that may aggravate or mitigate the situation depending on the country.
For example, both the Southern California as Italy they face problems with access to water, in addition to rising temperatures, and Italy is only expected to dry out over time.
According to Cammarano, this combination of warmer temperatures and lack of water it does not indicate anything good for the industry Italian tomato as a whole.
“A significant number of tomato growing industries are currently in Italy and need to prepare for the future with a supply. limited tomato from local regions“He said.
However, in California and China, protections can be used for cooler growing areas further north.
Rising temperatures in these areas could lead to an increase in yields, as the study projects a steady increase in tomato yields in Gansu Province, northern China, and neighboring Mongolia.
However, even at the highest levels, projected yields in these regions are only a fraction of what California and Italy currently produce.
The climate projections provided in the study raise important questions for the future of tomato production worldwideand it could help agricultural and manufacturing industries prepare for the impacts of climate change, Niyogi says.
“The results of our study should become one of the elements in the development of a vulnerability assessment“explains the researcher.
“This could help companies and foundations prioritize research and operational strategies for the future.”