Insights like these lead to new questions and crucial next steps.
The Institute's Global Landscapes Initiative, whose contributors to this study included Ray, Paul West and James Gerber, has previously produced global scale findings that have been put to use by international organizations such as the U. The scholars say this report has implications for major food companies, commodity traders and the countries in which they operate, as well as for citizens worldwide. Materials provided by University of Minnesota.
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The researchers found that: observed climate change causes a significant yield variation in the world's top 10 crops, ranging from a decrease of Story Source: Materials provided by University of Minnesota. Journal Reference : Deepak K.
Indian Agricultural Research Institute
Ray, Paul C. They conclude that the negative effects of climate change on food security can be counteracted by broad-based economic growth—particularly improved agricultural productivity—and robust international trade in agricultural products to offset regional shortages. In pursuit of these goals, policymakers should increase public investment in land, water, and nutrient use and maintain relatively free international trade.
This inquiry into the future of food security should be of use to policymakers and others concerned with the impact of climate change on international development.
Climate change threatens global food security: IPCC report
Overall if emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise, so will food costs, according to the report, affecting people around the world. In addition, the researchers said, even as climate change makes agriculture more difficult, agriculture itself is also exacerbating climate change. The report said that activities such as draining wetlands — as has happened in Indonesia and Malaysia to create palm oil plantations, for example — is particularly damaging. When drained, peatlands, which store between and billion tons of carbon dioxide globally, release that carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.
Climate change is affecting crop yields and reducing global food supplies
And the emission of carbon dioxide continues long after the peatlands are drained. By comparison, the fossil fuel industry emitted about 37 gigatons of carbon dioxide last year, according to the institute. Similarly, cattle are significant producers of methane, another powerful greenhouse gas, and an increase in global demand for beef and other meats has fueled their numbers and increased deforestation in critical forest systems like the Amazon.
Since methane emissions from ruminant livestock, which includes cows as well as sheep, buffalo and goats, have significantly increased, according to the report. And each year, the amount of forested land that is cleared — much of that propelled by demand for pasture land for cattle — releases the emissions equivalent of driving million cars.
Overall, the report says there is still time to address the threats by making the food system more efficient. The authors urge changes in how food is produced and distributed, including better soil management, crop diversification and fewer restrictions on trade.
They also call for shifts in consumer behavior, noting that at least one-quarter of all food worldwide is wasted. But protecting the food supply and cutting greenhouse emissions can also come into conflict with each other, forcing hard choices. For instance, the widespread use of strategies such as bioenergy — like growing corn to produce ethanol — could lead to the creation of new deserts or other land degradation, the authors said.
The same is true for planting large numbers of trees something often cited as a powerful strategy to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere , which can push crops and livestock onto less productive land.