A convergence of global factors is adding to the difficulties of securing a sustainable supply of food and feed to support the increasing global population. The positive impact of the rise in atmospheric CO2 on photosynthesis is more than offset by the increase in average global temperatures accompanying the change in atmospheric composition. This article provides a brief overview of how these adverse events affect some of the critical molecular processes of the chloroplast and by extension how this impacts the yields of the major crops. Although the tools are available to introduce genetic elements in most crops that will mitigate these adverse factors, the time needed to validate and optimize these traits can be extensive. There is a major concern that at the current rate of change to atmospheric composition and the accompanying rise in temperature the benefits of these traits may be rendered less effective soon after their introduction.

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