A report conducted by the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has identified where a decline in growth of local food supplies could be worst hit by climate change.
Regions to be worst affected by rising temperatures were identified as being large parts of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The report points out that hundreds of millions of people in these regions are already experiencing a food crisis. These areas in the tropics face famine because of failing food production, says the report.
“We are starting to see much more clearly where the effects of climate change on agriculture could intensify hunger and poverty,” said agricultural economist with the CCAFS project who conducted the report, Patti Kristjanson.
The researchers identified regions where populations are typically malnourished, and highly dependent on local food supplies. Many Areas in Africa are predicted to become drier, and for Western African countries such as Niger, where locals are supported on drought resistant crops such as millet and sorghum, the report stated that there would be little room for improvement.
“In many places in Africa you are really going to need [a] revolution in farming systems,” says Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali.
Sir Gordon Conway of Imperial College London stated that “we are on for a 3-4C increase”, and that if temperatures continue to follow these current trajectories things are going to “get very alarming”. It is thus that governments have now heightened the importance of their goals to confine the average increase in temperature to 2C by the end of the century, he continued.
Visiting professor at the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London, Professor Martin Parry, cautioned that although “This gives us a better local picture of where the most vulnerable areas might be… it doesn’t make strong enough connections between the changes in the weather and its impacts on yields.”