Ask NASA Climate | November 12, 2009, 16:00 PST

Science for a hungry world

Risky business


Some have called it "the human enterprise most vulnerable to climate change".

What they're talking about is agriculture, which is an integral part of the lives of many of the world's poorest people. Climate change is already affecting global food production, and is likely to have even more of an impact in the years to come. Studies have shown that increasing temperatures and decreasing precipitation over Asia and Africa could cause severe crop losses. Southern Africa could lose more than 30 percent of its main crop, maize, by 2030, while south Asia losses of many regional staples, such as rice, millet and maize could exceed 10 percent. And this would come at a time when there are ever-increasing numbers of mouths to feed.

A new video from NASA explores the way its satellites are helping to collect data from around the planet, in an effort to predict the challenges that farmers are facing as our climate changes, and ultimately to help come up with solutions. Check out the video below.