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Climate change likely to double sweet Potato size in 100 years

November 26, 2012 6:59 PM |

Sweet Potato, an increasingly popular staple food in Asia and Africa is expected to grow as much as double of its size by the turn of the century, a research revealed. The research from Hope Jahren from the University of Hawaii at Manao and colleagues revealed that in a Carbon dioxide (CO2)concentration of 760 ppm ( parts per million), the sweet potato tubers - the fifth most important food crop in the developing world - grew up to 96 per cent larger.

According to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prediction, the atmospheric CO2 levels will be between 500 and 1000 ppm by the year 2100. The current level of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is about 390 parts per million.

Researchers are now testing the effect of such high level of CO2 in the atmosphere on the nutrition of a food, which is increasingly becoming staple food as it has more edible energy per hectare per day than wheat, rice or cassava. The previous studies, crucially, revealed the protein content in wheat, rice, barley and potatoes dropped by 15 per cent when grown under CO2 levels double those of today.

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