About three quarters of today\u2019s global food production will face extreme risks from heat stress by 2045, according to a new study from Verisk Maplecroft.\r\n\r\nHeat stress already poses extreme risks to agriculture and food production in 20 countries, but Verisk Maplecroft forecasts the number of affected countries will rise to 64 by mid-century should temperatures warm by 2\u00b0C.\r\n\r\n\u201cThis will affect countries that currently account for 71% of global food production, with crops such as rice, cocoa and tomatoes set to be worst affected,\u201d Verisk Maplecroft says.\r\n\r\nIt warned that heat stress threatens the supply of key crops, especially in major economies such as China, India, Brazil and the US. It also jeopardises the health of outdoor workers.\r\n\r\n\u201cWithin a generation, a combination of rising global temperatures and humidity will make outdoor working increasingly difficult and even life-threatening,\u201d the risk intelligence firms says.\r\n\r\nIt added that extreme heat is a \u201ccross-cutting risk\u201d, damaging crops and lowering yields while causing fatigue and nausea among outdoor workers.\r\n\r\n\u201cIf emissions remain unchecked and temperatures continue to rise, extreme heat-related disruptions to global food supply chains will become increasingly common,\u201d said Will Nichols, head of climate and resilience at Verisk Maplecroft.\r\n\r\nThe report says rising temperatures will place additional strain on global food supply chains following the pandemic and Russia\u2019s invasion of Ukraine, which will in turn raise prices and trigger social unrest.\r\n\r\nIndia, which produced 12% of global food supplies in 2020, is the largest agricultural producer already rated as extreme risk for heat stress, Verisk Maplecroft analysis reveals. In May this year, India banned wheat exports after a heatwave damaged its harvest. This further reduced global supplies of wheat already affected by the Russia\/Ukraine conflict.\r\n\r\nOnly Eritrea, Djibouti, Bangladesh, UAE, South Sudan, and Oman have a higher risk of heat stress than India, Verisk Maplecroft says. It explains that Africa is home to 11 of the 20 countries that are already facing extreme heat stress risks. Rice producers Vietnam and Pakistan also meet the extreme risk criteria.\r\n\r\nVerisk Maplecroft forecasts heat stress will pose an extreme risk to agriculture in over 30% of countries by 2045. Nine of the 10 worst-affected countries are projected to be in Africa, the report says.\r\n\r\nBrazil, the world\u2019s third largest agricultural producer, is expected to fall into the extreme risk category by 2045, along with China and the US.\r\n\r\nThe impact on the US will vary widely between states. Verisk Maplecroft says heat stress could pose an extreme risk to agriculture in 11 US southern states by 2045, spreading from just Florida today.\r\n\r\nVerisk Maplecroft adds that rising heat stress is a growing problem for more developed markets. Seven of the ten countries forecast by Verisk Maplecroft to see the largest increase in heat stress risk by 2045 are in Europe. Montenegro, currently carrying a medium risk and in 127th place in the ranking, is expected to fall into extreme risk by 2045 and take 52nd place \u2013 the sharpest deterioration of any country.\r\n\r\nItaly, currently ranked 143rd for heat stress risk, is expected to move from a medium-risk country to high risk by 2045 and move into 82nd place.\r\n\r\nVerisk Maplecroft warns that additional pressure on global food supplies could trigger other risks.\r\n\r\n\u201cAs shown by Europe\u2019s intense summer heatwave, which sparked wildfires in Spain, France and the UK, governments and businesses everywhere need to factor the immediate and secondary impacts of exceptionally high, and rising, temperatures into their resilience planning,\u201d it says.\r\n\r\n\u201cCompanies and investors need to be aware that in highly agrarian economies disruptions to agricultural production will have huge implications for food security, but will also impact employment, national incomes and credit ratings,\u201d adds Nichols.\r\n\r\n\u201cCountries facing falling incomes and dwindling food supplies will struggle to mitigate climate impacts or address issues like poverty that not only upend the operating environment, but could also trigger humanitarian crises, political unrest, or even conflict,\u201d he says.