Home > Lifestyle > Environmental Health > News Updated 11 June 2013 How do you feed 9 billion people? A team of scientists has developed crop models to better forecast food production to feed a growing population. 0 iStock Related World’s population will stop growing in 2050 Fat planet Start A Health24 blog » Follow Health24 on Facebook » Test Are you envirohealth savvy? » Ask EnviroHealth Expert » Blood Lions: Bred for the Bullet movie trailer The amazing mountains on Pluto An international team of scientists has developed crop models to better forecast food production to feed a growing population – projected to reach 9 billion by mid-century – in the face of climate change.In a paper appearing in Nature Climate Change, members of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project unveiled an all-encompassing modelling system that integrates multiple crop simulations with improved climate change models. AgMIP's effort has produced new knowledge that better predicts global wheat yields while reducing political and socio-economic influences that can skew data and planning efforts, said Bruno Basso, Michigan State University ecosystem scientist and AgMIP member."Quantifying uncertainties is an important step to build confidence in future yield forecasts produced by crop models," said Basso, with MSU's geological sciences department and Kellogg Biological Station. "By using an ensemble of crop and climate models, we can understand how increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, along with temperature increases and precipitation changes, will affect wheat yield globally." Help adapt to changing climateThe improved crop models can help guide the world's developed and developing countries as they adapt to changing climate and create policies to improve food security and feed more people, he added.Basso, part of MSU's Global Water Initiative, and his team of researchers developed the System Approach for Land-Use Sustainability model. SALUS is a new generation crop tool to forecast crop, soil, water, nutrient conditions in current and future climates. It also can evaluate crop rotations, planting dates, irrigation and fertilizer use and project crop yields and their impact on the land.SALUS was initially designed by Joe Ritchie, MSU emeritus distinguished professor. Basso continued Ritchie's work and added new features to better predict the impact of agronomic management on crop yield over space and time. Framework to compare land-management approaches"We can change the scenarios, run them simultaneously and compare their outcomes," Basso said. "It offers us a great framework to easily compare different land-management approaches and select the most efficient strategies to increase crop yield and reduce environmental impact such as nitrate leaching and greenhouse gas emission."For the study, the team looked at simulated yield from 27 different wheat crop models. Through SALUS, Basso forecasted the impact of changes in temperature, precipitation and CO2 emissions on wheat yield from contrasting environment across the planet.SALUS has been employed in several other projects monitoring grain yield and water use in water-sensitive areas, such as the Ogallala aquifer (spanning from South Dakota to Texas), Siberia, India and Africa."I have the ambitious goal to enhance scientific knowledge for living in a better world, and hopefully with less poverty and enough food for the planet," Basso said. EurekAlert NEXT ON HEALTH24X Need motivation? Joel Stransky stood on the podium at the Cape Epic, a year after being in ICU 2018-04-12 10:30 More: Environmental HealthNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Lifestyle This is how Viagra can help you live longer Lifestyle Why women are opting to get their virginity restored through hymenoplasty Parenting Does mom's dagga end up in breast milk? News SEE: This surprising group is at risk of getting Listeriosis Medical A quick guide to sinus-related congestion Fitness The genius ab exercise that all gymnasts use, but everyone else ignores From our sponsors WIN a R2 000 beauty voucher! Understanding diabetes self-management Fed up with the Phlemings? Let’s chat diabetes and erectile dysfunction Live healthier FYI » When the flu turns deadly Why the flu makes you feel so miserable Could a deadly flu strain hit SA this winter? Following an intense flu season in the US and UK, should we be worried about our own upcoming flu season? Alcohol and acne » Dagga vs alcohol: Which is worse? SEE: Why you are drinking more alcohol than you realise Does alcohol cause acne? Some foods can be a trigger for acne, but what about alcohol? Dermatologist Dr Nerissa Moodley weighs in.