Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Climate change: Impacts and adaptation

All regions around the world are affected by climate change. Extreme weather events, increased rainfall, heat waves and droughts are among the changes caused by the rise in average global temperature. Weather variability is generally increased as well and can be a great cause of concern for farmers. The future impact of the changes on agriculture is unclear: in some areas food production may increase, whereas in many others changing long-term conditions and unstable weather patterns may have disastrous consequences. Measures to adapt to the new climate and weather are being developed in most industries and issues around the financing of such measures have been the cause of contestation in global policy processes such as IPCC. In agriculture, it is considered necessary to prepare for changing climatic conditions through adapting seeds, crop/livestock choices, and production practices and fostering more resilient systems that can cope with shocks and variable conditions. Such adaptation to a changing climate is a huge challenge, requiring joined up institutional thinking, plenty of engagement with farmers, and adequate financing of agricultural R&D.

Image: Ton Rulkens, Dried cassava roots, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
11 June 2019

This paper finds that production of the top ten global crops has already been affected by climate change, with mixed impacts across both crop type and geographical area. Oil palm has seen a 13% decrease in yields relative to those that would have been seen under historical climate conditions, while soybean has seen a 4% increase.

29 May 2019

This book, edited by Mirza Hasanuzzaman, Kamrun Nahar and Mohammad Amzad Hossain, provides a comprehensive overview of the response of wheat cultivation to changing environmental conditions, including extreme temperatures, drought and ultra-violet radiation.

29 May 2019

This book by David Reay discusses how food security might be affected by climate change in the 21st century, including a comparison of how “climate smart” different food types are.

29 May 2019

This working paper from the UK-based policy research organisation International Institute for Environment and Development explores the costs and benefits of different scenarios for future governance of high seas fisheries (i.e. those in international waters) under a changing climate.

13 May 2019

The Fate of Food: What We'll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World, by Amanda Little, examines the innovations that are changing food production.

Image: Atmospheric Research, CSIRO, Parched earth, typical of a drought., Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
13 May 2019

Extreme climate events such as droughts and heat waves are better predictors of yield anomalies than indicators of climate averages in maize, rice and soybeans, according to this paper. Irrigation can mitigate the negative yield impacts of frequent warm days.

8 May 2019

The UK Parliament has endorsed a motion to declare a climate and environment emergency, in response to the 2019 Extinction Rebellion protests and calls from the Labour opposition. The motion, which is not legally binding, follows declarations of a climate emergency by the Welsh Government, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, and several cities across the UK.

8 May 2019

This report by United Nations Environment reviews the current state of the environment and policy responses, with a particular focus on the links between planetary health and human health. It covers the impacts of the food system and risks to food security caused by environmental degradation.

29 April 2019

This book by Darrin Qualman argues that, to avoid the collapse of civilisation, the global economy must reshape its material and energy flows away from linear, extractive patterns towards a circular model. The book includes a chapter on food production.

20 March 2019

This report by international non-profit Forum for the Future outlines some key trends in sustainability that the authors expect will be important over the next decade. The report also aims to equip decision-makers with a greater ability to influence systems at the scale necessary to tackle global challenges.

Image: Kevin Dooley, Rain cloud over Phoenix, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
20 March 2019

This paper uses climate models to estimate that average precipitation across many crop production areas will change by more than natural variability throughout the 21st century. Changes are seen even if emissions are relatively low, but meeting the Paris climate goals could reduce the extent of cropland that is affected.

Image: AEPF, Olive tree Italy, Pixabay, Pixabay Licence
13 March 2019

Extreme weather events such as frosts, heavy rains and droughts are the main drivers of lower olive yields in Italy, according to Professor Riccardo Valentini of the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change. Italy has experienced a 57% drop in olive oil production in 2018.

13 March 2019

This book by Mike Berners-Lee aims to provide a big-picture overview of how to solve the many environmental issues the world is facing now, including both systemic and personal paths of action. It is aimed at a wide audience including both policymakers and the general public. Chapter 2 is about food.

Image: Romaniamissions, Fishing boats Spain, Pixabay, Pixabay Licence
12 March 2019

This paper retrospectively models the impacts of ocean warming on the productivity of 235 fish populations around the world representing around one third of reported global catch. It uses a temperature-dependent population model to estimate that the overall maximum sustainable yield of the fish populations dropped by 4.1% between 1930 and 2010.

26 February 2019

This book explores how climate change will affect food security and availability, and outlines ways of adapting agriculture to cope under a different climate.

18 February 2019

This report from The Climate Coalition (a UK-based association of organisations with an interest in climate change) outlines how production of fruit and vegetables in the UK is threatened by extreme weather events made more likely by climate change.

18 February 2019

Human-induced environmental change could lead to the collapse of social and economic systems, according to this report from the UK think-tank IPPR, which argues that policymakers must shift their understanding of the scale and impacts of environmental breakdown and the need for transformative change.

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