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Schroder’s science and policy updates for September

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Studies continue to reinforce the risks of climate change to the global food supply as extreme US weather dominates headlines. We look at the importance of the Arctic ice cap as the melt passes the previous 2007 record. Encouragingly, national and regional carbon pricing scheme projects continue to push ahead despite economic constraints.

A summer of disruptive weather

In August the world news headlines were littered with analysis of the extreme US drought and its impact on global food production. There was also coverage of scientific research trying to further predict climate evolution in the short and long term.

This summer was indeed estimated as the worst US drought in 25 years. July was the hottest month in the US since records began in 1885. Combined with a disrupted 2011 winter South American harvest, key global grain and oil seed prices have shot higher. As we write, corn is up 25% since the start of the year, wheat up 30%, soybeans up 42% and global food price inflation is once again expected to begin ticking higher.

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