Did you know every 1°C rise in temperature could
increase insect pest pressure by up to 25%?
Crops produced in Europe could be significantly impacted by climate change. Higher temperatures could trigger migration of insects from warmer southern to colder northern countries. Insect pests already reduce staple grain crops (wheat, rice, and maize) by an estimated 5 to 20% . Further yield losses due to increased insect pressure could increase by 10 to 25% per degree Celsius of warming . Such a reduction in yields would risk food security, quality, and local food production, resulting in increased food prices.
To investigate potential impact on food security, scientists analysed the global movement of crop pests and concluded that geographical shifts in direction varied with beetles, true bugs, moths and fungi moving to higher latitudes, whereas viruses and soil insects shift to lower latitudes .
Predicting these types of climate related outbreaks will rely on developing validated computer models, as illustrated below.
Prediction of the dynamic shift of climatic suitability for some pests in Europe between 2020 and 2026.
[*] On the cover picture: Desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) on a dirt road.
 C. Deutsch et al. Increase in crop losses to insect pests in a warming climate | Science (sciencemag.org), Science 31 Aug 2018: Vol. 361, Issue 6405, pp. 916-919
 Bebber et al. Crop pests and pathogens move polewards in a warming world. Nature Clim Change 3, 985–988 (2013).