The Guardian‘s Poverty Matters Blog writes today of a research study launched today that indicates that climate change in the tropics poses a food threat to the world’s poor. Blog writer John Vidal cites the report, developed by scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) research program, as saying that higher temperatures will reduce growing seasons critical for crops needed to feed the world’s poor.
‘The shorter growing seasons expected with climate change over the next 40 years will imperil hundreds of millions of already impoverished people in the global tropics, say researchers working with the world’s leading agricultural organisations.
‘The effects of climate change are likely to be seen across the entire tropical zone but many areas previously considered to be relatively food secure are likely to become highly vulnerable to droughts, extreme weather and higher temperatures, say the researchers with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (Cgiar). . . .
‘The impact could be felt most in India and south-east Asia. More than 300 million people in south Asia are particularly prone to even a 5% decrease in the length of the growing season, say the authors.
‘”Such a change over the next 40 years could significantly affect food yields and food access for people already living on the edge,” says the report Mapping Hotspots of Climate Change and Food Insecurity in the Global Tropics. . . .
‘”We are starting to see much more clearly where the effects of climate change on agriculture could intensify hunger and poverty,” said Patti Kristjanson, research leader at the the Cgiar research programme on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security. “Farmers already adapt to variable weather by changing their planting schedules. What this study suggests is that the speed of climate shifts and the magnitude of the changes required to adapt could be much greater. In some places, farmers might need to consider entirely new crops or new farming systems.”‘
Read the whole article at the Guardian‘s Poverty Matters Blog: Climate change in tropics poses food threat to the poor, 3 Jun 2011.