Drought resistant crops for the future

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Climate change is a defining issue that has far-reaching consequences for all life on planet earth. One result of climate change is the occurrence of extreme weather (heatwaves, drought and flooding) and changes in temperature and precipitation patterns. As a result, the frequency and severity of drought, heatwaves and flooding are predicted to increase and pose a direct threat to food security across the globe. There are two approaches to addressing climate change: adaptation (coping with the effects of climate change) and mitigation (reducing the factors contributing to climate change). Within the agricultural industry, a variety of interventions are being explored to cope with the effects of climate change and to also mitigate future contributions. Selective breeding of crops, and indeed animals, is an essential part of the adaptive response. Resistance to drought (and associated conditions such as heatwaves) and flooding are the most common climate-related traits for which crop varieties are bred, with the view to coping in extreme weather and improving global food security.