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Study Explores Nutrient Loss from Climate Change and Carbon Dioxide Increase

The International Food Policy Research Institute announced the results of an international study published in Lancet Planetary Health, showing that over the next 30 years, climate change and increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) could significantly reduce the availability of critical nutrients, compared to a future without climate change. According to the study, change shocks and elevated levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are estimated to reduce growth in global per-capita nutrient availability of protein by 19.5%, iron by 14.4%, and zinc by 14.6%. Researchers note that improvements in technology and market effects “are projected to increase nutrient availability over current levels by 2050, but these gains are substantially diminished by the negative impacts of rising concentrations of carbon dioxide.” The study also pointed to the impacts on nutrients in key individual crops. Protein, iron, and zinc availability in wheat are projected to be reduced by up to 12% by 2050 in all regions.