World food security more vulnerable than ever to climate change

Aug 02, 2013

A new study, published today (2 August) in Science, has called for a 'climate-smart food system' to prevent climate change from slowing progress in eradicating global hunger.

The researchers carried out a review of key scientific papers on security and climate change since 1990. It confirmed a robust and coherent global pattern of climate change impacts on that could have consequences for .

The review highlighted improvements in agricultural technologies, such as more productive and climate-resilient , are important to counter this threat, but are unlikely to be sufficient on their own. Wider changes in food trade and stocks, and nutrition and social policy options are also critical.

The last few decades have witnessed a substantial decline in the number of hungry people worldwide. However, since 2007, progress has slowed and world food supply and demand have been precariously balanced - climate change threatens to tip this balance, most dramatically in the poorer areas of the world.

Professor Tim Wheeler, from the University of Reading's Walker Institute for Climate System Research and lead author of the review, said: "The spike of 2008 highlights the increasing vulnerability of the global food system to shocks, such as extreme weather and economic volatility. A step change is needed in efforts to create a 'climate-smart food system' that can better withstand whatever climate throws at us. This should include development of drought- and heat-tolerant crops or new tillage techniques that reduce release of carbon from soils, but we need to go further and ensure trade, investment and development policies all have 'climate-smart' food as a central goal."

Warmer temperatures, changes in and more under climate change are expected to affect food and fodder production, change patterns of pest and diseases of crops and animals and impact on food supplies. Countries where these impacts are expected to be negative are also those where hunger is most prevalent now. Extreme weather, such as floods, drought and heatwaves, contributes to short term food price spikes and longer term climate change is likely to be an important factor in future price trends. Volatile food prices are a particular concern to the poor, who often spend a high proportion of their income on food.

Professor Joachim von Braun, from Bonn University's Center for Development Research in Germany and co-author of the paper, said: "Human suffering due to the on is increasing. And the costs of short term food crises mitigation will grow, if meaningful investments for more resilient food systems are further delayed."

A broad set of risks to food security needs to be considered, of which climate change is an increasingly important one. Climate change can increase food market volatility by affecting both supply and demand. These risks can ripple out to destabilise food systems, resulting in high and volatile food prices that temporarily limit poor people's food consumption, financial and economic shocks that lead to job loss and credit constraints, and political disruption. This complex system of risks can assume a variety of patterns that could potentially collide in catastrophic combinations.

Studies reviewed included one that found an average of 17% drop in yields of wheat in Africa by 2050 and a 16% drop in maize yields in South Asia under climate change.

Importantly, the impacts of climate change on food go much further than the direct effects of weather on crop harvests. For example, a loss of access to drinking water can cause diarrhoea and so reduce the goodness derived from food. Relatively little research has been done on such indirect effects of on food security, and this review calls for more to be done on these broader aspects of food security.

Explore further: EPA staff says agency needs to be tough on smog

More information: "Climate Change Impacts on Global Food Security," by T. Wheeler et al. Science, 2013.

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deatopmg
1.9 / 5 (18) Aug 02, 2013
How does an 11% (avg) greening (increased photosynthesis) of the globe and over 30% at the edges of the desert areas due to increased CO2 fit into this report?

Things are no where near as bad as the doomcasters would like us to believe.
Howhot
3.5 / 5 (8) Aug 02, 2013
How does an 11% (avg) greening (increased photosynthesis) of the globe and over 30% at the edges of the desert areas due to increased CO2 fit into this report?
Really???
It's pretty foolish to make excuses or bogus numbers to justify not studying food safety in a period of rapid and radical global climate change.

Instead of labeling SCIENCE a doomcaster, you shoud heed their words as predictions of the future. The future looks bleak for the deniers.

Shelgeyr
1.9 / 5 (17) Aug 02, 2013
@deatopmg: Ignore Howhot, it's nothing but a practiced troll.

@Howhot: Hypocritically ignoring my advice to deatopmg, he didn't label "SCIENCE" a doomcaster, he pointed out the things aren't as bad as the doomcasters would like us to believe, which is rarely not true. You are stupidly mistaken in saying the future looks bleak for the deniers, but then again, "stupidly mistaken" is your norm (as are "sad, hostile, misinformed, and mockworthy").

I just know there will be some price to pay for feeding a troll, but - so what?

gregor1
1.6 / 5 (14) Aug 03, 2013
@Shelggeyr I think Howhot maybe one of the organized thug trolls from the miss-named blog 'skeptical Science'. Their object is to spread disinformation through thuggery by stifling debate. This is known as 'nobel cause corruption' as they actually believe it is their mission to save the World, a bit like the Scientologists.
http://www.popula...out.html
kivahut
5 / 5 (3) Aug 04, 2013
What "studies"? Where are the citations? Your link doesn't even link to the article in Science.
VendicarE
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 04, 2013
"How does an 11% (avg) greening (increased photosynthesis) of the globe and over 30% at the edges of the desert areas due to increased CO2 fit into this report?" - DeaTard

http://media.tree...ocks.PNG

World grain stores as a percentage of consumption are lower now than they were in the 1960's, and hold about a 70 day reserve supply of grain.

The world is 70 days away from global famine.

Excess CO2 has probably increased grain production fractionally. But that increase can't be seen in the grain production data.
VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 04, 2013
GregorTard links to a nonsense blog "Popular Technology"

Editor: Andrew (Computer Analyst)

Contributing Authors

Doug (Computer Engineer)
Karl (Computer Scientist)
Mike (Electrical Engineer)

Bahahahahahahha... Conservative Blog Nonsense.
Howhot
2.7 / 5 (7) Aug 05, 2013
@deatopmg: Ignore Howhot, it's nothing but a practiced troll.

@Howhot: Hypocritically ignoring my advice to deatopmg, he didn't label "SCIENCE" a doomcaster, he pointed out the things aren't as bad as the doomcasters would like us to believe, which is rarely not true. You are stupidly mistaken in saying the future looks bleak for the deniers, but then again, "stupidly mistaken" is your norm (as are "sad, hostile, misinformed, and mockworthy").

I just know there will be some price to pay for feeding a troll, but - so what?



FIrst, I'm not a troll. I'm a scientist with concerns that knows howto flame.

Second, your analogy reminds me very much of the boiled frog. At first, the water is cold, then warm, then warmer, then hot, then the frog is boiled alive and dies. You deniers want everyone to believe nothing is happening. Just hold your hands over your ears and say "nananananana". Day after day, there is more an more proof you deniers are mentally disturbed. Truth.
VendicarE
2.7 / 5 (7) Aug 05, 2013
"Day after day, there is more an more proof you deniers are mentally disturbed. " - HowHot

Correct!
Jean Demesure
1.6 / 5 (14) Aug 06, 2013
Second, your analogy reminds me very much of the boiled frog. At first, the water is cold, then warm, then warmer, then hot, then the frog is boiled alive and dies.
@Howhot
The boiling frog "truth" is an idiotic legend popular among green dupes but long discredited : http://www.snopes...boil.asp
Epic fail !
Jean Demesure
1.6 / 5 (13) Aug 06, 2013
Just a quick look up of real life data and here is what I found :
- Food production has increased 40% since 1990 : http://faostat.fa...ult.aspx
- Net Primary Productivity Index has increased 6% from 1982 to 1999, during the "unpreceded global warming" : http://www.scienc...625/1560
And somehow, Physorg is telling us "World food security more vulnerable than ever to climate change", go figure...
Physorg should stop promoting the junk science of CO2 fertilization deniers, they are growing more and more irrational et disconnected from facts.
Howhot
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 06, 2013
Second, your analogy reminds me very much of the boiled frog. At first, the water is cold, then warm, then warmer, then hot, then the frog is boiled alive and dies.
@Howhot
The boiling frog "truth" is an idiotic legend popular among green dupes but long discredited : http://www.snopes...boil.asp
Epic fail !

Thanks for the correction but does it matter? If it does to you, Just change frogs for a pot of crabs on the boil, they all try to climb out by climbing over each other. Have you ever been to a crab-boil? Because they don't work together, they all are boiled alive. None escape. The crab boil is probably a better analogy of what is happening with the deniers of AGW. While scientist are demonstrating a very serious problem that need attention of the public and presiding powers, the deniers are climbing on our backs dragging us down so we all boil together.

Yeap, so the moral of the story is "get off my back" or "hermits in hot water".
Jean Demesure
1.4 / 5 (11) Aug 07, 2013
While scientist are demonstrating a very serious problem that need attention of the public and presiding powers

@Howhot,
Science can't "demonstrate" any such things, only activist scientists and a megalomaniac president claim it can (well after all, you have a president who promised to "slow the rise of oceans" and "heal the planet", so why not).

Yeap, so the moral of the story is "get off my back" or "hermits in hot water".
No, the moral of the story is that if you can believe in childish legends as the boiling frog, then you can believe in anything.
And yes, refuting absurd analogies (comparing people to frogs or crabs, oh come on !) based on fabricated "truth" does matter to me, definitely. It's sad that it doesn't to you.
Neinsense99
1 / 5 (10) Aug 10, 2013
While scientist are demonstrating a very serious problem that need attention of the public and presiding powers

@Howhot,
Science can't "demonstrate" any such things, only activist scientists and a megalomaniac president claim it can (well after all, you have a president who promised to "slow the rise of oceans" and "heal the planet", so why not)....

Dear Denialist Shill/Troll:

Your comment history indicates you are here to further a political or economic agenda, not to engage in honest discourse.

Your arguments are as original as they are sound, which is to say, not at all. Your tactics include some or all of: insinuation, smearing, misqoting, diversion of threads, distortion of facts/meaning, pointing the finger, projection, targeted down-voting, and sock puppetry.

Neither insults, lies, nor goading will cause me to waste time playing your game. I will not grant your comments the undeserved dignity of a customized response.
antigoracle
1.7 / 5 (12) Aug 10, 2013
Another bit of "sky is falling" AGW Alarmist propaganda to feed the chicken littles.