Global warming may have 'devastating' effects on rice

Global warming may have 'devastating' effects on rice

An global research team led by the University of Tokyo has found that rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) will lower the nutritional value of rice.

"There's been studies over the past hundred years for the importance of these B vitamins", said study researcher Kristie Ebi, from the University of Washington in Seattle.

However, not all types of rice responded to the experiential conditions in the same way, which means there is a chance that scientists could identify varieties of rice that maintain their nutritional value regardless of Carbon dioxide levels. "But how plants respond to that sudden increase in food will impact human health as well, from nutritional deficits, to ethno-pharmacology, to seasonal pollen allergies - in ways that we don't yet understand", study co-author Lewis Ziska said.

"I haven't seen anything about the vitamins, that was new in this paper", Rice said, "but there's other reports that show, or ate least model and have done some lab estimates, that anywhere from 2 to 10 percent less protein content for grains under [an] elevated Carbon dioxide environment".

The researchers looked at the countries that consumed more rice - on populations that took half of their daily calories from rice.

They found on average that the test rice had 10% less protein, 8% less iron and 5.1% less zinc compared with rice grown by farmers under existing conditions.

The new study evaluated 18 types of commonly grown rice to see impact of the levels of carbon dioxide. Aside from energy-rich carbohydrates, grains feed us protein, zinc, iron and essential B vitamins.

Rice grown in an environment with higher concentrations of carbon dioxide has fewer nutrients, according to research started by the University of Tokyo. For the first time, research reveals that vitamins B1, B2, B5 and B9, all of which are important to the body's ability to turn food into energy, decrease in rice as carbon dioxide levels increased. 7 percent. B9 levels (folate) saw the largest drop, declining by 30.3 percent. There has already been concern about the impact of higher levels of carbon dioxide on protein in potatoes, maize and other cereals. They collectively conducted a field study on about eighteen strains of the rice from the China and Japan.

The research was funded by National Basic Research Program of China, Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province in China, and Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The consequences for wheat are tied to rising temperatures, but with rice, the immediate issue appears to be the growing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Plants that share the same photosynthesis pathway as rice and wheat do indeed grow larger and produce greater yields in higher carbon dioxide concentrations by creating more carbohydrates, says Lisa Ainsworth, a biologist at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign and the U.S. Department of. But so far, there has been little research on the impact of climate change on the nutritional qualities of each staple.