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Could Global Warning Ruin Bread As We Know It?

Bad news for baguette lovers.


The causes of global warming remain a hotly debated issue, but nonetheless, climate change is happening all around us — and if the threat of rising sea levels doesn't scare you, maybe this will. An Australian research group found that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — the effect of increasingly more humans burning increasingly more fossil fuels — could dramatically affect the bread-making process, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

A research group at the Australian Grains Free Air CO₂ Enrichment facility in Victoria is "studying the effect elevated carbon dioxide will have on crops such as wheat, lentils, canola and field pea." Experiments have found that increased carbon dioxide levels "affects the elasticity of dough and how well a loaf rises"; a loaf baked under conditions like the ones expected to be found on Earth in 2050 appeared shrunken and dense compared to one baked in the current climate. The group says with further research, they may "be able to develop new wheat strains with traits that can overcome this problem," however.

Bread isn't the only foodstuff climate change could affect adversely: Rising temperatures in the Gulf of Maine are diminishing lobster populations, and Chipotle has previously said climate change could spell the end for its guacamole. Ben & Jerry's recently introduced a new ice cream flavor to raise awareness for climate change, but it's going to take a lot more than that to make any sort of significant impact.