Chips are an inch shorter on average this year, as the effects of last year’s summer now attack our most beloved of foodstuffs. The hot weather led to vegetables experiencing reduced size and yield, with potatoes one of the worst affected. Unfortunately, this might not be the last time we see Britain’s favourite food fall victim to heatwaves and other extremes of weather, as a report by the Climate Coalition predicts extreme weather conditions to continue.
Yields have been down for several varieties of produce over recent years. Apples lost a quarter of their harvest following a warm winter and late frosts in 2017, whilst onion yields in 2018 lost 40% to high temperatures and low rainfall. The climatic conditions of last year, according to the report, were up to 30 times more likely to have occurred as a result of climate change. With over half of all UK farms reportedly affected by a severe weather event in the last 10 years, weather related disruptions are very much being felt.
Farmers are making big efforts to reduce the carbon footprint from agriculture, with cattle being a particularly significant emitter of greenhouse gases. The National Farmers Union has set a target for British farming to become a net zero greenhouse gas emitter by 2040. Farmers are taking this on board, as renewable energy installations grew from 25-39% in the 3 years to 2017.
We can expect to see more windfarms and solar panels popping up over the coming years, as we more and more realise how climate change is affecting our food production. Now with the beloved British chip being harmed, all growers and manufacturers will be taking action to prevent this from repeating.