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Interview: Probing Impact of
Warming on World Food Supply

Stephen Long
University of Illinois
Stephen Long
It has long been thought that climate change could enhance crop growth through the fertilizing effects of carbon dioxide. But recent research conducted by Stephen Long, a professor of crop sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, indicates that any gains from CO2 fertilization will be offset by damage to plants from higher temperatures, increases in atmospheric ozone, and the greater efficiency of crop pests in a CO2-enriched world. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Long, the recent recipient of a $25 million research grant from the Bill and Melinda gates Foundation, discusses the impacts of climate change on some of the world’s most important crops, the challenge of boosting crop yields to meet the demands of a burgeoning human population, and how tinkering with the genes involved in plant photosynthesis may provide the solution scientists are seeking.
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