Climate change will make it difficult for farmers in the coming decades, with almost double the number of days outside that are too hot to work safely.
According to a new study by Stanford and the University of Washington, the number of days the daily heat index becomes too high for safe outdoor work will increase from the current average of 21 years to 39 by 2050.
In 2100, the team estimates that there will be 62 days each growing season when the daily temperature index becomes too dangerous for long-term outdoor training.
A new study has found that climate change nearly doubles the number of days too hot to work safely outdoors during each growing season in the U.S., from 21 to 39 in 2050 and 62 in 2100
“I was surprised by the magnitude of the change – seeing the doubling of the insecure mid-century days and then tripling in 2100,” said Stanford researcher and lead author Michelle Tigchelaar YOUR News.
“And we think that’s a low estimate.”
The daily heat index is an expression of how warm it feels when humidity is included in standard air temperatures, similar to the cold wind factor.
To arrive at their conclusions, the team combined recent daily heat index data from all plants in the United States and calculated how the current climate change model will affect the region in the coming decades.
While previous studies on climate change and the agricultural sector focused on yields, the team felt it was important to consider the impact of rising temperatures on workers, who often worked 12- and 14-hour shifts under harsh conditions.
“The most vulnerable people are asked to take the greatest risk, so that we as consumers can eat healthy and nutritious food,” Tigchelaar said.
The team combines current daily heat index data from all plants in the United States with climate change forecasts for the coming decades. Previous studies on agriculture and climate change focused on plant health, but the team wanted to see its effects on workers
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are officially 1 million people who work as pickers for the US agricultural industry, but industry analysts estimate that the actual number will likely be more than 2 million when those who do not work according to books are taken into account.
Ag workers are very vulnerable, because most do not have health insurance and many are outside the US and do not have legal status to work in the US, making them reluctant to seek medical attention or report safety concerns to employers.
The team was inspired to start research after hearing the death of a blueberry picker in Washington state, Honesto Silva Ibarra, who died of dehydration after a long and tiring change in 2017.
The researchers identified four main mitigation steps that can be used to deal with extreme heat.
This includes slowing down the pace of work expected, providing refrigerated hiding places for rest, applying longer breaks, and wearing thinner and more breathable clothing for high temperatures.
Farm operators must make at least three of these four changes to compensate for the temperature rise.
WHAT IS THE PARIS AGREEMENT?
The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to manage and mitigate climate change.
He hopes to keep the global average temperature rise below 2 ° C (3.6 ° F) and continue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 ° C (2.7 ° F).
It seems that a more ambitious goal to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C (2.7 ° F) is more important than ever, according to previous research that 25 percent of the world can see significantly drier conditions that will significantly increase.
In June 2017, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the US, the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas producer, from the agreement.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has four main objectives relating to reducing emissions:
1) The long-term goal is to maintain a rise in global average temperatures well below 2 ° C above pre-industrial levels
2) Aim to limit increases to 1.5 ° C, because this will significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change
3) The government agrees that global emissions must peak as soon as possible, recognizing that this will take longer for developing countries
4) Then apply fast reductions according to the best available knowledge
Source: European Commission
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