Climate Change and Food Security - Climate Change and Food Security Lobell D Burke M(2010 Climate Change and Food Security Adapting to a Warmer

Climate Change and Food Security - Climate Change and...

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Climate Change and Food Security Lobell, D., & Burke, M. (2010). Climate Change and Food Security: Adapting to a Warmer World. New York: Springer. The Earth is clearly warming. Mounting evidence from around the globe has removed virtually any serious doubt over this fact, and over whether the main culprit is human emissions of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). A large majority of the world’s poor continue to live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Given that agriculture everywhere remains dependent on weather, changes in climate have the potential to disproportionally affect these poor populations. However, what, precisely, will human-induced climate changes mean for the globe’s billion poor? How will climate change interact with the many other factors that affect the future of food production and food security? Theory alone cannot refute either of these extreme positions, as they are no obvious reasons why that the pace of climate change caused by human activity should or should not match the pace with which we are able to adapt food production systems. Rather, the issue at hand is an empirical one, and finding answers will require a cadre of scientists capable of collecting and analyzing the relevant data, and policy makers and citizens capable of understanding their implications. There are clearly many pathways through which climate change will influence food availability, access, and utilization. Climate induced changes in agricultural productivity will likely affect the incomes earned and the food prices faced by poor households, with the net effect on food security a function of each household’s particular set of livelihood strategies. In addition, health impacts associated with climate change could hamper the ability of individuals to utilize food effectively. These multiple potential impacts will occur in the midst of broader trends in global and regional food security, which include rapid recent progress throughout much of the developing world, but little improvement across most of the African continent, much of which remains desperately poor and food insecure.

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