A recent report released by the White House, the National Climate Assessment Report, says the effects of climate change are already being experienced across the United States. And according to one commodities expert, global warming has turned up the heat on agriculture prices—which could be leading to higher costs at the grocery store.
"More than 80 percent of the temperature rise has occurred since 1980, and with that has come some price increases," wrote Jodie Gunzberg, global head of commodities at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Zeroing in on the S&P GSCI Agriculture index, she finds that it has increased by an average of "16 basis points per summer quarter (Q3), which could be due to climate change."
But when we follow costs from the farm to the table, the picture gets a bit more complicated.
"Prices you see at the grocery story may very well be increasing from global warming," Gunzberg wrote. However, she adds that "the food companies have many different ways to mitigate the price rise. So an example is if we go to the grocery store and we see a label that says, 'May contain soybean oil, canola oil or palm oil,' the reality is that it contains the cheapest oil. And that's substitution that keeps the prices down for everyday consumers like you and me."