A new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture warns that climate change could affect food supply in Colorado and worldwide.
The report says risk extends beyond farms and ranches. It predicts that production across most of the U.S. should be able to handle the initial shocks of climate change without major losses. But as warming continues, crop yields, livestock production and revenues could decline.
A production disruption could have global implications, said Peter Backlund, the associate director of Colorado State University’s School of Global and Environmental Sustainability.
“The food system also involves transporting food around, storing food, the sale and trade of food, and the consumption of food, and climate change actually influences all of these," said Backlund, one of the report's contributors.
The report says that global warming could impact demand of U.S. imports and exports — and change how food is stored and transported.
Backlund also said Colorado's water supply systems will likely change.
“We may see increased needs for water storage, and rain fed agriculture is going to be more challenging in the future than it is today," he said.