A report produced by Cotton 2040, revealed that by 2040, 40% of cotton-producing regions are likely to see their growing seasons shortened by rising heat, while drought could hit half of the global crop.
Mentioning the countries the report said that cotton-growing areas facing some of the biggest extreme weather risks include northern Sudan, Senegal and southern Mali in Africa, as well as parts of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Efforts to adapt to changing conditions by shifting planting times, boosting irrigation and providing farmers with climate forecasts could help some cope better, the report noted. But unless emissions are slashed, some cotton-growing areas will become unsuitable for the crop in the future, Uren predicted.
The researchers warned that the climate change impacts, from hotter temperatures to more droughts and floods, threaten much of the world’s cotton production, risking worsening shortages, higher prices and financial woes for growers.
The reports suggested that protecting the $12-billion market in countries such as India, the United States, Brazil and China will require both slashing emissions to limit planetary heating and stepped-up efforts by farmers to adapt to the new risks.