Starting at the top left and moving clockwise, this image shows extreme drought and dry soil that can cause vegetation to die, succulent yellow corn that grows when a plant has all of the resources it needs to thrive, graduate student, Frances O'Donnell, from Princeton’s Ecohydrology Lab working in Botswana with soil CO2 plots during the summer of 2008, and aid worker and nurse Bridget Holtz serving in the Red Cross Camp in Jacmel, Haiti, an area that has been hard hit by natural disasters like drought, famine and earthquakes.
Click on image for full size
Starting at the top left and moving clockwise, permissions were granted from USGS, USDA, Dr. Caylor of Princeton University and Bridget Holtz.
Withering Crops - An Effect of Global Warming
Plants are very important to people. They give us food like corn, potatoes, lettuce, bananas and strawberries. Plants give us material like cotton for clothes. Trees give us paper and wood for building houses. When big changes happen to the plants around us, we are affected too.
Big changes are happening on our Earth. The Earth's climate is is warming. This rise in temperature means some parts of the world will get less rain and so the soil will be drier. Warmer temperatures and a lack of water will cause many plants to wither or die.
This becomes a big problem when the plants are crops, plants grown for food. If crops wither or die, then people will not have enough to eat. This can cause famine or even fighting because people don’t have what they need to survive.
Luckily, people around the world and scientists are helping with crop withering problems that could cause difficulties around the world. Scientists are looking to find ways that crops can grow without needing as much water or fertilizer. Researchers are also working on ways to tell if a drought is coming and they can work with aid agencies to send food to people in need.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist
, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store
You might also be interested in:
Kingdom Plantae has almost 300,000 different kinds of plants. Plants are found all over planet Earth. They can live in fields, in swamps, in oceans and in the desert. They can live where it is hot and...more
Earth’s climate is getting warmer. During the past 100 years Earth’s average temperature rose about 0.6° Celsius (1.0° F). Things that people are doing like burning fossil fuels, changing the way land...more
Raindrops form when tiny water droplets collide together in clouds to form bigger ones. When they get too heavy, rain falls out of the clouds. Rain is more than 5mm in diameter. The types of clouds that...more
There are many different kinds of plants. Some have big leaves. Some have small leaves. Some even have flowers. All plants make their own food. When sunlight hits the leaves of a plant, photosynthesis...more
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a kind of gas. There isn't that much carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere, but it is still very important. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. That means it helps trap heat coming...more
Have you ever taken your temperature to see if you are getting sick? Scientists have been taking the Earth's temperature and have found that it is getting warmer. During the past 100 years, the Earth's...more
Looking for online content that can be used for a climate change education course or module? Pages linked below can be used to support an introductory climate change education for either a unit or a full...more