Climate change is likely to cause an expansion
of land suitable for growing crops globally, but on average the
quality of land will decline, a new study shows.
A warmer world would mean more cropland for northern
latitude countries such as China, Russia and Canada, but there are
trade-offs elsewhere, with much of Africa having to manage with
less cropland and fewer harvests per year.
Not everywhere in the world is suitable for
growing crops. Some areas are too dry, or too cold, while other
areas have poor quality soil or are too hilly. The climate plays a
significant role in determining what we can grow and
At the moment, about 40 per cent of the Earth's
land is used for farming, though there are huge
differences between countries. For example,
over 60 per cent of India is used for agriculture, whereas the
figure for Canada is much lower, at just seven per cent.
You can see in the map below how this varies across
the world; the darker the red colour, the more land is used for