Agricultural trade in Pacific Rim economies faces challenges due to climate change, with uncertainty greatest for equatorial nations
- Global warming is expected to have a significant impact on future yields of everything from rice to fish, particularly in countries situated closer to the equator, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned today.Geographically, the negative impact of climate change on agricultural output could result in lower yields of rice, wheat, corn and soybeans in countries with tropical climates, compared with the impacts experienced by those in higher latitudes. Fisheries could also be affected by changes to water temperature.A meeting in Viet Nam of Agriculture Ministers from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies heard that many key agricultural regions in Asia are already at risk of crossing key climate thresholds after which the productivity of plants and animals goes into decline. For example, research by FAO and other organizations has found that there are regions within Asia that are already near the heat stress limits for rice. Changes in specific climate variables are important too - for example, increased night-time temperatures have been found to have a significant negative impact on rice yields.