chapter  17
14 Pages

Effect of Climate Change on Post Harvest Quality of Fruits

ByMohammed Wasim Siddiqui, V. B. Patel, M. S. Ahmad

Climate on Earth has changed many times during the existence of our planet, ranging from the ice ages to periods of warmness. During the last several decades, increases in average air temperatures have been reported and associated effects on climate have been debated worldwide in a variety of forums. Due to its importance around the globe, agriculture was one of the first sectors to be studied in terms of potential impacts of climate change (Adams et al., 1990). Environmental factors include climate (temperature, wind, and rainfall), air quality, and positional effects both within a planting and within the tree. Elements such as wind, heavy precipitation, and frost may result in direct loss of the fruit from the postharvest chain due to fruit scarring; increased incidence of plant pathogens associated with high rainfall, especially during flowering (i.e., anthracnose); and loss of fruit related to freeze damage. Temperature during fruit growth and maturation may also influence fruit quality by either hastening or delaying horticultural maturity. From preindustrial levels of 280 ppm, carbon dioxide (CO2) has increased steadily to 384 ppm in 2009, and average temperature has increased by 0.76 °C over the same period. Projections to the end of this century suggest that atmospheric (CO2) will top 700 ppm or more, whereas global temperature will increase by 1.8-4.0 °C, depending on the greenhouse emission scenario (IPCC, 2007).