Heatwaves and Climate Change: How They Affect Agriculture

dry soil

The intense summer heat in Europe has significantly influenced human health and increased heat-related hazards and deaths.

The rise of heat waves has also caused drought, which is heavily impacting the Agriculture sector of Europe.

With a 40-degree celsius maximum temperature experienced in the region, it is vital to stay safe during the scorching season, prepare for crop and yield losses, and secure food production. Start-up innovations that focus on climate technologies help alleviate the aftermath of extremely high temperatures. 

Heatwaves and Agriculture: How do heat waves affect agriculture? 

As published by Reuters on July 14, wildfires raged across the tinder-dry countries of Europe: Portugal, Spain, France and Croatia, burning homes and threatening livelihoods, as much of Europe baked in a heatwave that has pushed temperatures into the mid-40Cs in some parts. On Croatia’s Adriatic Coast, three major wildfires around Zadar and Sibenik were reported. 

Heatwaves have become more frequent, more intense, and longer-lasting because of climate change.

European Union officials issued a warning in July 2022 that climate change is behind the extremely dry and hot summer so far on the continent, urging local authorities to brace for wildfires. In Southern France, farmers had reported crackling dry crops spontaneously catching fire after coming into contact with the heat from harvesters. 

The July heatwave in Europe hit a crucial pollination window for maize crops, resulting in a reduction of overall harvests and an increase in import needs. Along with maize, sunflower and soybean yields also dropped to 9%.

The supply of cooking oil and maize were already under pressure, as Ukraine is a major producer and its exports have been blocked by Russia. Cereal yields are also down to 2% from an average of 5%. Concurrently, experts forecast a decline in milk production that could last for weeks due to overheated livestock. 

While the heat alone has not caused wildfires and drought, the impact of such extreme weather caused by climate change can have a lasting effect, especially on food production. The result is likely to be “heatflation”. Crops are wilting and power plants are being forced to shut down, threatening an inflation-weary region with a further hike in food and energy prices. 

How can climate tech help the agricultural sector adapt to warmer temperatures? 

Climate Technologies are innovations that combat the rapid warming of the globe and reduce the drastic effects of climate change. 

CLIMATIG is a climate technology start-up that offers services that empower agriculturists and farm owners to build a more profitable, resilient, and sustainable agriculture sector through climate intelligence. 

The impact of climate change to the agricultural sector is manifested through heat waves and droughts. CLIMATIG provides a platform that protects farmers and communities from impending supply disruption and food insecurity:

  1. Risk management for crop production – CLIMATIG’s smart data-backed tools avoid crop damages by identifying when’s the best time to sow and where’s the best place to store them.
  2. Enhance agriculture financing – CLIMATIG puts resilience at the forefront of planning and budgeting systems. CLIMATIG’s system gets next-level business intelligence on climate risks so agriculturists and farm owners can outperform competition.
  3. Invest in climate-resilient farms – CLIMATIG’s end-to-end climate intelligence platform and portfolio-building features assess farming locations for long-term feasibility.
  4. End-to-end improvement in operations – CLIMATIG helps agriculturists and farm owners to leverage cost predictions, climate risk scoring systems, and data forecasts for better farm management⁠— from resilience planning, crop planting, yield processing and storage, and equipment distribution.

Because of CLIMATIG, farmers wouldn’t need to worry about the complexities of climate sciences and can focus on more important things such as monitoring crop & soil quality and temperatures, and increasing their yields.

Conclusion

Heat waves in Europe were increasing in frequency and intensity at a faster rate than almost any other part of the planet. Heat waves imperil the lives of many through heat-related disasters and deaths, and security of food production. 

The threat of climate change to the agriculture sector affects not only the agriculturists and farm owners, but the communities around them. 

 

CLIMATIG enables the farming industry to use AI-powered tools to generate accurate cost predictions, optimize resilience planning, and analyze how climate hazards are set to affect operating costs. 

 

Photo by Maud CORREA on Unsplash
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