Native Chinese sheep breeds, one of which is seen here grazing on the Tibetan Plateau, are serving as a climate change bellwether (photo credit: CRIENGLISH.com).
To paraphrase Luigi Guarino in his new and lively Science Blog series for the Crop Trust, with food demand estimated to increase by anywhere from 50–70% by 2050 (read Guarino for why the great spread in estimations), and with climate change bearing down upon us, manifested in more unpredictable and extreme climates, crop breeders will have to work faster and smarter, using all the tools at their disposal, to keep the world fed. And they will need all the diversity they can get their hands on. That’s the raw material of crop improvement, Guarino reminds us.
The same goes for livestock improvement, only, unlike the case for crop varieties, we have no similar genebanks storing the diversity of animals that would allow us…
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