As if the already known direct and indirect effects of global warming weren't extensive enough, a new scientific study conducted by a team from Harvard University suggests that rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will exacerbate the spread and effect of zinc deficiency on diets across the world. Zinc is crucial for maintaining immune function, protein and DNA synthesis and infant development.
It will be the poor who bear the brunt of the effects
Researchers observed a link between rising CO2 levels and a reduction in the nutrient quality and content, especially of zinc, in crops such as wheat, soy, rice and others. The findings from the study are worrying enough for the researchers to predict extremely dire consequences of such a phenomenon, especially on people living in poverty, and already suffering the effects of malnutrition. Naturally, those who are well-off can merely fortify their food with supplements and such. The poor however, usually have no choice but to contend.
The problem will only worsen in the years to come
With the global population still growing at a great pace, it's to be expected that the poor would have to contend with this issue a lot more in future. Coupled with the worsening of other existing problems, like the ongoing struggles of the agricultural sector as it tries to deal with climate change, the fallout may be much worse than imagined.
With no clear solutions in sight, the issue must be taken up and seriously considered now by governments and agencies the world over, as nothing concrete can possibly be achieved without concerted efforts to slow down global warming, and deal with the problems already at hand, including this one.