‘Heat increases insects’ appetite for grains’ –


The rise in temperature leads to the growth of pests on crops such as rice, corn and wheat, which are the most important food products and raw materials around the world.

"With warming temperatures, when the climate warms, these very hungry caterpillars can become even hungrier and more abundant. Loss of crop pests can grow, "the scientists note in a new study.

Unlike mammals and birds, insects warm or cool the environment. As the insect heats up, its metabolism also accelerates. The faster it burns energy, the more hungry it feeds and the faster it reproduces.

Insects will "eat more than our lunch," says Curtis Deutsch from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Based on how heat changes the metabolism and multiplication of insects, he and his colleagues believe that every degree of Celsius means an additional 10-25% of the damage to the grains.

In a further explanation, Deutsch says that insects are already making their way through eight percent of corn and wheat in the world every year and are causing 14 percent of rice.

If the average temperature of the Earth rises two levels above the pre-industrial level, Deutsch says, annual crop losses can reach about 10 percent for corn, 12 percent for wheat and 17 percent for rice. This is a total loss of about 213 million tons for the three grains in combination.

The foregoing, Nigerian scientists confirm that in the last couple of years, agricultural maize worms have fallen in the country.

Executive Director of the National Center for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB) Dr. Sunday Aladela urged the federal government to take proactive measures against deforestation, saying that it contributes to global warming, irregular downpours and food losses.

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