How is Global Climate Change Affecting Agricultural Food Production and Human Nutrition

“How is Global Climate Change Affecting Agricultural Food Production and Human Nutrition?

Thursday, October 11, 2018


MBG Conference Hall

Assoc. Prof. Levent ÖZTÜRK

Sabanci University

Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences

Molecular Biology, Genetics and Bioengineering Program

Assoc. Prof. Levent Ozturk is a faculty member at Sabanci University, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Molecular Biology, Genetics and Bioengineering Program since 2004. His MSc and PhD studies were on “Drought Tolerance in Wheat” (1999) and “Phosphorus Use Efficiency in Cereals” (2004), both conducted at Cukurova University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition. Dr. Ozturk’s teaching and research activities are focused on fundamentals of ecology, climate change and plant biology. In recent years, his research interest is diverted to revealing the effects of global climate change on agricultural ecology, nutrition and performance of cereal crops.


Feeding the ever-growing population is one of the most important challenges facing humanity. Currently, one in nine people across the globe are undernourished, meaning that they cannot find enough food to meet daily calorie requirement. Among those who can get sufficient calories, some are still hungry due to “hidden hunger”, mainly because they can only afford to buy calorie-rich cheap food (e.g. flour, sugar, oil) lacking many essential nutrients. Arguably, the world can produce sufficient food for everyone, but it is not shared fairly. In fact, the world is capable of producing agricultural food that is sufficient for 7.6 billion people, at least for now. However, only time will show whether humanity will be able to sustain its very own presence, through making timely decisions as not to exceed the carrying capacity of the planet.

This presentation will highlight advances as well as regresses on climate policies. The recent rise in global hunger will be explained by figures of agricultural food production and consumption under the influence of changing global and local climate patterns. Examples will be given on how climate change is affecting nutritional behaviors of animal and plant species. Finally, the importance of studying the interactions of climate change components will be emphasized in a case study on elevated carbon dioxide and drought interaction.

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