If you’ve been paying attention to the dismal forecasts regarding the world’s environmental emergency, you already know that the very future of the planet is hanging in the balance. One need not peer off into the distant future to see the impact of climate change, though.
One clear impact that the climate crisis has already had can be seen in the ongoing shift of farmland.
Get your Georgia-grown mangoes
While Georgia’s nickname — the Peach State — might not be all that original, it’s at least been pretty accurate for generations. Tons of peaches have grown throughout the region because the environment has always been conducive to that crop.
As temperatures rise and farmland becomes drier, however, farmers are looking for new places to grow their crops. And that has led farmers like Joe Franklin to switch over to growing a range of citrus fruits in Georgia.
“When I first started with it, people couldn’t believe me when I told them it was grown right here in Georgia,” he said.
It’s true, though. He’s got thousands of trees in a 78-acre orchard that produces lemons, mandarins, grapefruit, and yes, even mangoes.
One thing you won’t find on his land is the once-ubiquitous peach tree.
He explained that it has gotten progressively warmer over the past few decades and the land no longer experiences an annual frost.
“It’s happening,” he said of climate change. “There’s no doubt about it.”
It’s a global trend
Climate activists have advised that farmers around the world are experiencing similar disruptions. Droughts, flooding, and higher temperatures are expected to result in as much as a 30% decrease in global crop production by 2050.
While crops like citrus fruits can simply move further north, climatologist Pam Knox said not all farmers will be able to make the switch.