Note to general public: My position on the current global warming is the same as the overwhelming majority of international climate scientists:
Share via Email Dried sunflowers in a village near Sofia, Bulgaria. Heatwaves in Europe, some as hot as 40C, have ruined the harvest in many regions of the country. A year of not enough or too much rainfall, a hot spell or cold snap at the wrong time, or extremes, like flooding and storms, can have a significant effect on local crop yields and livestock production.
While modern farming technologies and techniques have helped to reduce this vulnerability and boost production, the impact of recent droughts in the USAChina and Russia on global cereal production highlight a glaring potential future vulnerability. There is some evidence that climate change is already having a measurable affect on the quality and quantity of food produced globally.
But this is small when compared with the significant increase in global food production that has been achieved over the past few decades.
All else being equal, rising carbon dioxide concentrations — the main driver of climate change — could increase production of some crops, such as rice, soybean and wheat. However, the changing climate would affect the length and quality of the growing season and farmers could experience increasing damage to their crops, caused by a rising intensity of droughts, flooding or fires.
The latest IPCC report predicted improving conditions for food production in the mid to high latitudes over the next few decades, including in the northern USA, Canada, northern Europe and Russia.
Conversely, parts of the subtropics, such as the Mediterranean region and parts of Australia, and the low latitudes, could experience declining conditions.
The future course of global food production will depend on how well societies can adapt to such climatic changes, as well as the influence of other pressures, such as the competition for land from biofuel production.
The richer, higher latitude countries are likely to have a greater capacity to adapt and exploit changing climatic conditions. There are many uncertainties in such predictions.
The world has not seen such changes in climate for millennia, and so it is impossible to know how our agricultural systems will react in the real world. For example, the complex interlinkages with the impacts of climate change on pests, diseases and pollinators, like bees, are largely unknown.
Also, climate models have difficulty in accurately predicting the detailed local environmental changes that are important for food production, particularly weather extremes. Fisheries are already stressed by overexploitation and pollution.
Warming surface waters in the oceans, rivers and lakes, as well as sea level rise and melting ice, will adversely affect many fish species.
Some marine fish species are already adapting by migrating to the high latitudes, but others, such as Arctic and freshwater species, have nowhere to go. The absorption of carbon dioxide emissions by the oceans also has a direct impact on marine ecosystems through ocean acidification.
A Foresight report concluded that climate change is a relatively small factor here, at least in the short term, when compared with the rapid increases in global food demand expected in the next decade. On current projectionsby there will be between one and three billion additional mouths to feed.
As people become wealthier, they also demand more food and disproportionally more meat, which requires far more land and water resources per calorie consumed. When these factors are combined, it points toward a future of increasing and more volatile food prices. As was seen during the —08 food price spikes, the poorest countries and communities will be hit first and hardest.
The Foresight report concluded that international policy has an important role to play here — today, despite plentiful supplies of food globally, almost one billion people are undernourished. Finally, food production itself is a significant emitter of greenhouse gases, as well as a cause of environmental degradation in many parts of the world.
This means that to limit the long-run impacts of climate change, food production must become not only more resilient to climate but also more sustainable and low-carbon itself.Sep 27, · Most previous assessments of the impacts of climate change on agriculture (and indeed on other sectors) have focused on time horizons towards the end of the twenty-first century, illustrating the impacts of anthropogenic climate change .
Climate change. Over the last 50 years, human activities – particularly the burning of fossil fuels – have released sufficient quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to trap additional heat in the lower atmosphere and affect the global climate. Agriculture both contributes to climate change and is affected by climate change.
The EU needs to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture and adapt its food-production system to cope with climate change.
But climate change is only one of many pressures on agriculture. International Climate Impacts.
Impacts of climate change on agriculture and other food systems can increase rates of malnutrition and foodborne illnesses.  In northern Europe, climate change is initially projected to bring mixed effects, including some benefits such as reduced demand for heating, increased crop yields, and increased.
Northern Europe is getting significantly wetter, and winter floods could become common. Urban areas, where 4 out of 5 Europeans now live, are exposed to heat waves, flooding or rising sea levels, but are often ill-equipped for adapting to climate change.
Consequences for developing countries. Many poor developing countries are among the most affected. A Foresight report concluded that climate change is a relatively small factor here, at least in the short term, when compared with the rapid increases in global food demand expected in the.