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Global warming to cut Brazil's key crop areas

Global warming is likely to reduce Brazil’s soybean area by a quarter within 12 years, according to a study published this month. The maize area would also be severely impacted. A researcher from the Brazilian agricultural research corporation, the Embrapa, Fabio Marinho, told the official news agency, Agencia Brasil, “Assuming rains remain constant as temperatures rise by two to four degrees [Celsius], it will not be possible to meet the demand for maize and soybeans.” Rising temperatures would lead to growing demand for water. The worst case scenario, based on the study’s models, would mean a 24% lower soybean area by 2020. Coffee would be impacted in the south east. The major beneficiaries would be sugar cane and cassavas. The Brazilian University of Campinas’s agriculture-applied climate research centre, the Cepagri, led the study. It involved researchers from the Embrapa and the UK.

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