Extreme weather and geopolitics major drivers of increasing 'food shocks'

Extreme weather and geopolitics major drivers of increasing 'food shocks'
Courtesy of Canadian Government Department of Fisheries, taken by officers as part of routine surveillance within Canadian waters. Credit: Canadian Department of Fisheries

The research, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, identified 226 food production shocks across 134 nations over the 53-year period, noting an increasing frequency of shocks across all sectors on a global scale.

Lead author Richard Cottrell said was a major cause of shocks to crops and livestock, highlighting the vulnerability of production to climate and weather volatility.

"In recent decades we have become increasingly familiar with images in the media of disasters such as drought and famine around the world," Mr Cottrell said.

"Our study confirms that food production shocks have become more frequent, posing a growing danger to global food production.

"We looked at the full range of systems, covering crops, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture

"We found that crops and livestock are slightly more shock-prone than fisheries and aquaculture, and some regions, such as South Asia, are more frequently affected than others.

"While the number of food shocks fluctuates from year to year, the long-term trend shows they are happening more often."

Mr Cottrell said the increasing frequency of food shocks gave people and communities less recovery time between events and eroded their resilience.

"Reduced recovery time hinders coping strategies such as accumulating food or assets for use during times of hardship.

"Combined with adverse climate conditions, conflict related shocks to food production across sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East have led to a rise in global hunger since 2010.

"Land-based crop and livestock production are particularly vulnerable to such as drought, which are expected to become more frequent and intense with .

"However, marine-based food production is not immune from shocks.

"Overfishing was responsible for 45 per cent of shocks detected in landing data, while disruptions to aquaculture production have risen faster and to a higher level than any other sector since the 1980s.

"Globalised trade and the dependence of many countries on food imports mean that food shocks are a global problem, and the international community faces a significant challenge to build resilience.

"This can be done through measures such as investing in climate-smart food systems, and building food reserves in import-dependent nations so they are better able to deal with the impact of disruption caused by problems such as climate change," Mr Cottrell said.


Explore further

Science predicts more frequent extreme events will shock the global food system

More information: Food production shocks across land and sea, Nature Sustainability (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41893-018-0210-1 , https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-018-0210-1
Journal information: Nature Sustainability

Citation: Extreme weather and geopolitics major drivers of increasing 'food shocks' (2019, January 28) retrieved 16 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-extreme-weather-geopolitics-major-drivers.html
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Jan 28, 2019
"This can be done through measures such as investing in climate-smart food systems


Like: rice, wheat, and corn?.

Things are better than ever in human history.

Jan 28, 2019
Lions Tigers and Bears oh my. The sky is falling.

Jan 30, 2019
"This can be done through measures such as investing in climate-smart food systems


Like: rice, wheat, and corn?.

Things are better than ever in human history.


Lions Tigers and Bears oh my. The sky is falling.


Don't be daft and - statistically - caring more for your chosen brand of murderous politics than for facts of life. I just read that AGW will kill 250,000/year in 2030-250.

Just because statistics can now tell us we have many areas where things are better than ever, it does not mean we know exactly why, that it is robust or that it is in all areas. Food production is easily waning when there is war (which had a smaller peak 2015 amidst a waning trend) and climate change (which is exponentially accelerating as expected at first when global CO2 and other greenhouse gases increases).

The article is paywalled, but one of its references mention drought resistant crops. So GMO can be used for climate-smart food systems.

Jan 30, 2019
In 2030-2050:

"In 2014, the World Health Organization estimated climate change could cause an additional 250,000 deaths per year between 2030 and 2050, thanks to a rise in issues such as malnutrition, heat stress and malaria. However, a new study published earlier this month called that a "conservative estimate.""

[ https://nypost.co...-storms/ ]

(And it looks from the context of that article even Faux News/Fox News are publishing facts now!)

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