Textile production is an essential part of the global economy, with some 1.2 billion people working in the textile sector.
But for decades, there have been few effective efforts to protect the industry from the ravages of climate change.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recently released a report on the threat posed by climate change and the impact of deforestation, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a similarly-named report on climate change in apparel last year.
Now, a new study from the University of California, San Diego, and a group of researchers from other institutions, including the USGS and the University at Buffalo, has come to a different conclusion.
The paper is titled, “Coastal climate change threatens the coastal textile industry.”
The study looked at data collected by the World Bank, the UNEP and the US Geological Survey, and analyzed global trends in textiles, deforestation and other natural hazards across different regions.
“We can look at global patterns and understand what is happening to the coastal apparel industry and what we can do about it,” said co-author Andrew S. Smith, a professor of environmental engineering and of civil and environmental engineering at the UC San Diego.
“The results from our analysis are quite striking,” Smith said.
“Global patterns of climate and natural hazards are consistent with patterns that are already occurring, and they suggest that coastal climate change is having a devastating impact on coastal textile production.”
In the study, researchers examined the impacts of two different scenarios: a warming world and a warming climate.
The warming world, in which temperatures continue to rise, is projected to be the worst for coastal textile industries over the next several decades.
In this scenario, a growing proportion of the world’s population is expected to live on less than $1.25 a day.
“In the United Kingdom, the cotton harvest has already been halved since the 1980s and by 2020, only about 7 percent of cotton is produced in the United K.O.,” the report reads.
“This is not a sustainable way to sustainably grow cotton and to provide a livelihood for millions of people.
It also means that cotton is a vulnerable commodity and that the cost of production is increasing rapidly.”
In contrast, in the climate change scenario, global temperatures will rise by about 5 degrees Celsius (10.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.
And the world will be flooded by rising seas, which will make the seas more acidic and affect the coastal cotton industry.
“If we’re going to have a global economy that relies on high-quality cotton, then we need to take the climate-change problem seriously and get it right,” said Smith.
“We need to be doing all of the things we can to make sure that we’re not going to see a return to the past.”
The researchers examined textile production and trade patterns in six countries: the Philippines, Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines and the Netherlands.
They found that as the global temperature rises, the demand for coastal cotton will be greater than the supply.
The result is that many coastal cotton producers will face a shrinking market, while the supply will expand.
The report notes that these changes are occurring with significant potential for negative consequences.
“Cotton is the key commodity that will support the coastal industries of the future,” Smith explained.
“The price of cotton, especially in low-income countries, will be reduced as more people become poor.”
In fact, the study found that coastal textile products are increasingly being sold at a lower price than they were a few decades ago.
The study also found that while global warming may affect the production of textile products, it does not appear to have an impact on the price of the raw materials, and this is true for all textile products.
“It is very likely that global warming is going to cause the price to rise as production is disrupted,” Smith added.
“This is an extremely positive development for the coastal textiles industry,” Smith concluded.
“As a result, it will not only be important for the consumers of the coastal industry, but also the producers of all the other products that come out of this sector.”