According to NASA’s climate change trackers, global levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are at their highest in 650,000 years and the ice sheets are melting at a staggering rate of 413 gigatonnes per year.
But a team of international scientists may have now found a potential upside to rising global temperatures.
A study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, claims the impacts of global warming could unlock boreal regions for farming by 2099.
Currently, only 32 percent of the world’s boreal areas in the northern hemisphere are arable.
Study co-author Professor Joseph Holden, University of Leeds, explained: “Climate change will have a profound impact on our agricultural regions.
“A projected consequence is the loss of farmland and crops from areas that are currently productive, which is cause for concern regarding long-term global food security.
“Therefore we need to know whether in northern high latitudes new areas will become suitable for crops.”
Climate change effect: Scientists claim warmer climates cold unlock more arable farm in the north
Climate change: Only 33 percent of boreal regions are fit for farming
The world’s boreal regions are found in great swathes of the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Climate change will have a profound impact on our agricultural regions
But the study also warned increasing the world’s arable land could have a negative impact on agriculture in other parts of the globe by upsetting climatic water balance.
Study lead author Dr Adrian Unc, from Memorial University Canada, said: “We must not forget that any changes in land use has extensive impacts on the entire natural ecosystem, impacts that must be understood and included in any planning effort.”
Professor Holden added: “Understanding future environmental conditions will be vital for agricultural production.
NASA has warned global CO2 levels are historically high
“But any plans for northward agricultural expansion must be done carefully and with long-term environmental sustainability in mind.”
“After all we must ensure that a short-term gain does not come at the cost of a long-term loss in ecosystem sustainability.”
According to NASA, global temperatures are currently on the rise and 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001.
The US space agency said 2016 ranks as the warmest year on record yet.