Some agricultural regions are turning into deserts, while others, still arid, could become fertile with rising temperatures. This is the case in the Canadian Far North, according to an article published in the journal Current Biology. The authors suggest that within the next 40 years, due to global warming, this region could offer nearly 6.5 million square kilometers of arable land.
While this projection is promising for some, it poses an additional threat to the still-preserved biodiversity of these harsh environments. Furthermore, these vast carbon storage areas help mitigate climate change.
The expansion of arable land is already a threat to various forested areas worldwide. The degradation of agricultural productivity will increase the pressure on wild spaces and the agricultural potential they represent.
Scientists estimate that by 2050-2061, 6% of arable land will no longer be suitable for cultivation, and the remaining cultivable land will be unable to produce certain varieties despite a growing population. The indicators are converging toward an increased risk of food insecurity.
For some, this catastrophic scenario can be avoided by changing agricultural practices, moving toward more agroecology, for example, and adopting different dietary habits, especially in industrialized countries where food waste is still widespread. Producing more should not be the sole objective, precisely because this overproduction will not effectively feed people in need.