Jonathan Leake, Environment Editor at The Times, London reports Britain is likely to become a a major bread supplier for Europe because climate change will lead to a surge in wheat production, a study has shown.

The research, by the Met Office, aimed to find out how such change might disrupt food production across Europe. It warns that rising temperatures will eventually obliterate wheat crops in southern Europe — but that production in England, Scotland and Ireland and some other areas of northern Europe will rise sharply.

Wheat is one of the most important staple food crops and constant supplies are essential for foods including bread and pasta. The study found, however, that it is just one of many crops whose production patterns will be disrupted if global temperatures rise.

Scientists agree that the world could be up to 6C warmer by 2100. Professor Martin Parry, who led the research for the Met Office, will present the results to a range of European environment ministers when they meet in London today at an event hosted by Margaret Beckett, the environment secretary, under the auspices of Britain’s EU presidency. In his report he says that climate change would make northern Europe warmer and wetter — and hence better for growing some crops. Southern Europe, however, would become much drier and hotter, possibly leading to the spread of deserts in southern Spain and Italy.