A new study now suggests that there is a decline in the level of protein that will affect the nutritional value of staple foods such as rice, wheat and other daily essential crops. The study by Harvard estimates that this particular decline in protein is caused by human-induced carbon emissions.
According to Science Daily, the projected numbers by the study state that if the CO2 levels rise the world over, the population of more than 18 countries will lose 5 percent of their dietary protein by the year 2050. The findings claim that 150 million people will be affected by this occurrence.
Currently, 76 percent of the population receives their daily protein from plants, most of which are exposed to high levels of CO2 emissions the world over, owing to different factors that consider demographics location. Through experimenting with different crops and exposing them to CO2, the protein content had declined in rice, wheat, barley, and potatoes decreased by 7.6%, 7.8%, 14.1%, and 6.4%, respectively. Africa may be faced with the risk of protein deficiency and India will also lose about 5.3 percent of protein from its standard diet, putting 53 million people in the sub-continent at risk.
The research was made to establish the need for prioritizing the levels of carbon emissions happening in specific nations. Another study that provides similar data for iron reveals that a decline in iron is also possible due to increased levels of carbon dioxide emissions. 150 million people will suffer from protein deficiency in addition to the already increasing number the world over.
NDTV reports that a study was also conducted in places such as Japan, Australia and America in order to decipher the decline of zinc and iron in crops when exposed to CO2. As protein, iron and zinc are the most important nutrients required for growth of the human body, a deficiency in any of the nutrients will cause numerous weaknesses and health ailments.
The study suggests that enrichment of the current staple crops and reducing the levels of CO2 emissions will be able to negate the effects that might trigger these deficiencies down the line. In under-developed countries where food deficiency is at its highest, such as in Africa and South Asia, children below the age of five at risk of deficiencies in nutrients. Such declines may not bode well for those countries where the basic meal is already composed of so little for survival.