A study led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine examined the extent to which projected changes such as increases in temperature and reduced water availability could affect the production and nutritional quality of common crops. The researchers estimate that environmental changes predicted to occur by mid- to end-century in water availability and ozone concentrations would reduce average yields of vegetables and legumes by 35% and 9% respectively. Although previous research indicated that raised levels of carbon dioxide would increase crop yields, this study revealed that potential yield benefits are likely to be cancelled out by simultaneous changes in other environmental exposures. To mitigate the risks that future environmental changes pose to these crops, researchers say that innovations to improve agricultural production must be a priority, including the development of new crop varieties, enhanced agricultural management, and mechanization.
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