Volume 252 Issue 5478, 1 November 1974



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    Researchers at the Appleton Laboratory, in England, say that the present low level of world food reserves may be associated with the decline in solar activity during the approach to the 1974–75 sunspot minimum. Presumably because of their effects on temperature and rainfall, the 11-year and 22-year sunspot cycles appear to influence agricultural productivity in certain parts of the world. Modulations of 10% to 50% of the wheat production in China, the United States and the Soviet Union seem to be correlated with the solar cycles, suggest J. W. King, E. Hurst, A. J. Slater, P. A. Smith and B. Tamkin. The forthcoming World Food Conference in Rome might well wish to discuss implications for global agricultural planning.

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