What in heaven’s name has climate change to do with the size of a loaf of bread? Well, probably more than you would assume. Scientists of Australian company AgFace (short for Australian Grains Free Air CO2 Enrichment facility) are investigating the influence of higher levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere on agricultural crops like wheat. The effect on grains is complex. Although the plants grow faster, they contain less protein. And apparently it also alters the viscosity of dough and how a loaf of bread rises, as can be seen in the picture below. The smaller loaf was baked from grains that were grown in carbon dioxide levels around 550ppm, the expected level by 2050 (we’re hovering around 400ppm, 350ppm is generally accepted as being the limit to avoid serious climate disruption). The larger one is made from the same amount of wheat, grown in today’s conditions. AgFace is investigating breeds which would reduce the loss of protein content. If this could be achieved, there is at last a positive side at high carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere.
Sydney Morning Herald