Climate change threatening food security

| 08/08/2019 | 21 Comments

(CNS): A new report published by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that the rise in global temperatures is already impacting food security. With more than a quarter of the ice-free land we inhabit already degraded, some 820 million people are undernourished, not just because of war, poverty and disease but because of climate change. But scientists are also warning that humans must drastically alter food production to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming.

“Today 500 million people live in areas that experience desertification,” said French climate scientist Valérie Masson-Delmotte, who is Co-Chair of the IPCC Working Group, at a press conference. “People living in already degraded or desertified areas are increasingly negatively affected by climate change.”

Food production is being impacted by the changes in climate, while at the same time making climate change worse. Soil degradation has a direct impact on the amount of carbon the earth is able to contain, which, together with food waste and contamination, is making our ability to feed ourselves increasingly precarious.

“Food security will be increasingly affected by future climate change through yield declines – especially in the tropics – increased prices, reduced nutrient quality, and supply chain disruptions,” said Priyadarshi Shukla, also Co-Chair of the IPCC Working Group, who specialises in energy and environment modelling and policies. “We will see different effects in different countries, but there will be more drastic impacts on low-income countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean,” he added.

The report recommends that countries consider options to tackle loss and waste, reducing the pressure on land and greenhouse gas emissions.

Jim Skea, Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy, said, “Limiting global warming to 1.5 or even 2°C will involve removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and land has a critical role to play in carbon dioxide removal.”

He added, “Agricultural practices can help build up carbon in soils, but it could also mean using more bio-energy with or without carbon capture and storage and expanding forests.”

This latest report produced by 107 scientists from more than 50 countries found that agriculture, forestry and other land use contribute to around a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. The need for immediate action in the face of a warming planet was underlined by the limited capacity the earth has to adapt and the impending population rise to near 10 billion by 2050.

CNS continues to draw attention to future threats to our children’s future. Please consider supporting independent journalism in Cayman.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I thought plants are supposed to thrive when there’s more CO2..

  2. Anonymous says:

    Where is the Who-bot on this one?? I love me some misguided intellectual screed.

  3. Johnny Rotten says:

    We are currently a sitting duck. Considering the endemic reliance we have on North America for 95% of all our food we might end up like Puerto Rico if consecutive hurricanes devastated ports in the USA and Cayman. Many would have to leave for a while, some permanently. Consider if the USA went to war with Russia, China or North Korea, where would that then put our food security?

    Keep your heads firmly planted if you want to but I’ll be supporting local farming and growing my own where I can.

    • Anonymous says:

      More like 99%. Yet, chicken farms are not welcome here. More concrete, more people and more garbage are welcome though.
      How long would it take for all fruits disappear off trees in Cayman?
      I wouldn’t worry about a war with anyone. It the year 2019 it would mean the end of civilization on planet Earth. Technological glitches/ terrorism on the other hand could bring economies to a standstill. Did they figure out the cause of July power outage in NYC? I would not want t be on 2 x 4 rock when it happens.
      Conclusion: If one would wants to survive, hone your handy-man skills, learn from elderly how to live off boat, learn how to live on a boat.

  4. Eliza says:

    One way to reduce carbon emissions is to buy LOCAL food, which has not been transported several hundred miles to get here.
    Check your local stalls as well as the supermarkets for fresh, locally-grown food — and support local famers at the same time. Prices are largely the same as the imported equivalent, or sometimes lower. Do it for the planet …

  5. Anonymous says:

    That picture BTW way, was taken by a climate scientist showing the effects of man-made global warming.

    It’s NOT a picture of a person living in a desert…. just in case you flat-earthers thought you could use your own logic..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Have no fear! JuJu is traveling the world with her Captain Underpants team. They will soon be enacting all kind of climate mitigation policies, that will save agriculture in Cayman!!!!

    But first, off to Jamaica to have some good food and pointless conversation!

  7. Anonymous says:

    There is literally no end to their bull$hit.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The world has too many people. Shame on you Mr. Premier for wanting 100 K people in these Islands. And when we have 100K. Will you say we need 125K and then 150K and so on and so forth ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Things were so much better 20,000 people ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder how the people felt about you being added to the peoples..

    • Anonymous says:

      @4:53 pm Actually, Earth’s population is declining. More men have ED and low sperm count. More women can’t conceive. It might not seems so, but it is the fact. The more technologically advanced society is the worse infertility problems they face. Laughing about wearing a tin foil hat is not longer a laughing matter.

  9. #moretreeslessa$$holes says:

    We could learn something from the so called “developing country” Ethiopia who just planted more than 350 million trees in 12 hours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe we should have replanted some mangroves instead of building a concrete boardwalk for millions of dollars?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Food security is indeed under a severe threat. Every nation/country/island needs food security.
    The science is there. Do not be such a lazy tosser and wait for the boat.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try growing something to eat even if you have only a few square meters backyard. Don’t forget to compost things like vegetable scraps and leaves. Once it starts breaking down plant a few pieces of sweet potato and in about nine to 12 months you will be reaping potatoes. Not much but it is a start. Also don’t forget to plant a tree – best source of carbon capture there is.

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