The Earth’s temperature has been breaking records this summer, a trend that is expected to continue due to Climate Change. Researchers with the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) Project have been looking at how food crops react under heat stress in field conditions, and how to best prepare crops for the inevitable changing climate.

Available to comment:

  • Don Ort, Robert Emerson Professor in Plant Biology and Crop Sciences, RIPE Deputy Director University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Amanda Cavanagh, Lecturer, RIPE Principal Investigator, University of Essex
    • “As a plant scientist, the challenge of producing enough food to feed the predicted mid-century population of nine billion is further magnified by the increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide,” said Amanda Cavanagh, University of Essex Lecturer. “We're working to provide solutions to adapt to a world that’s changing more rapidly than crops can adapt."
  • Carl Bernacchi, Research Plant Physiologist, RIPE Deputy Director of Phenotyping, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
    • "Climate disasters increasingly occurring worldwide are a direct result of the warnings issued by the scientific community over several decades regarding the dangers posed by escalating greenhouse gas emissions," said Carl Bernacchi, USDA-ARS Research Plant Pathologist & RIPE Deputy Director of Phenotyping. "Our research has contributed to these warnings by focusing on optimizing crop adaptation to the growing frequency of extreme climate conditions."

Additional resources: Journal article about research: Alternative pathway to photorespiration protects growth and productivity at elevated temperatures in a model crop; RIPE article about research, The heat is on: RIPE researchers show ability to future-proof crops for changing climate; images available.

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