An Article by the BBC discusses a study that has highlighted the risk posed by projected climate change on the grass family (Poaceae) and in turn the world’s ability to grow enough food. The speed at which the climate is predicted to shift by 2070 would occur too quickly for species of grass to adapt to the new conditions. These grass species include wheat, corn, rice, and sorghum (which provide almost half the calories consumed by humans) which could mean disaster for humans as well. Also, natural grasslands cover about 1/4th of the planet’s land area that contain a lot of biodiversity and would be lost should climate change have strong negative impacts on grasses.
The study used a representative sample of 236 grass species and estimated rates of change for their climatic niches (the temperature and precipitation conditions where a species occurs) and compared them to the projected rates of climate change.