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Impoverished areas of Africa and Asia face severe crop losses from climate change in 20 years
Physorg ^ | 01/31/08

Posted on 02/01/2008 4:00:07 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster

Impoverished areas of Africa and Asia face severe crop losses from climate change in 20 years

Many of the world’s poorest regions could face severe crop losses in the next two decades because of climate change, according to a new study by researchers at Stanford University’s Program on Food Security and the Environment (FSE). Their findings will be published in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Science.

“The majority of the world’s 1 billion poor depend on agriculture for their livelihoods,” said lead author David Lobell, a senior research scholar at FSE, which focuses on environmentally sustainable solutions to global hunger.

“Unfortunately, agriculture is also the human enterprise most vulnerable to changes in climate,” Lobell added. “Understanding where these climate threats will be greatest, for what crops and on what time scales, will be central to our efforts at fighting hunger and poverty over the coming decades.”

Climate change and hunger hotspots

In the study, the researchers focused on 12 regions where a large share of the world’s malnourished populations reside, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, including much of Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Temperature and rainfall are key factors affecting crop yield. To determine the impact of global warming on agriculture in these regions, the authors analyzed 20 climate change models and concluded that by 2030, the average temperature in most areas could rise 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius), while seasonal precipitation in some places—including South Asia, South Africa, Central America and Brazil—could decrease.

“To identify which crops in which regions are most under threat by 2030, we combined projections of climate change with data on what poor people eat, as well as past relationships between crop harvests and climate variability,” Lobell explained.

Their analysis revealed two hunger hotspots where climate impacts on agriculture look particularly dire: Southern Africa and South Asia. “We were surprised by how much and how soon these regions could suffer if we don’t adapt,” said study co-author Marshall Burke, a researcher at FSE. “For example, our study suggests that Southern Africa could lose more than 30 percent of its main crop, maize, in the next two decades, with possibly devastating implications for hunger in the region.”

Potential losses in South Asia are also significant, he added, with projected losses of 10 percent or more for many regional staples, including millet, maize and rice. “For poor farmers on the margin of survival, these losses could really be crushing,” Burke said.

Prioritizing investments

With such large projected losses in many poor regions, adapting agriculture to a changing climate will be a crucial global task, the authors said.

“By looking systematically across regions and at a wide range of crops of importance to the poor, we hope to provide a way to prioritize investments in adaptation,” Lobell said. “Say you’re an organization with finite resources that’s interested in alleviating hunger and concerned about the effects of climate change. Our study asks, given the data we have, where would you spend your money first" And while the data are not perfect, we have to make decisions based on available data.”

Although relatively inexpensive adaptations, such as planting earlier or later in the season or switching crop varieties, could moderate the effects of climate change, “the biggest benefits will likely result from more costly measures, including the development of new crop varieties and expansion of irrigation,” the authors write. “These adaptations will require substantial investments by farmers, governments, scientists and development organizations, all of whom face many other demands on their resources.”

In addition to specific areas, such as Southern Africa and South Asia, where urgent investment in agricultural adaptation is needed, the authors pointed to other regions where uncertainties about climate change are higher and, therefore, investment priorities might differ among institutions.

“Areas of West Africa and the Sahel stand out as regions with very high rates of food insecurity and with a very high dependence on agriculture, but also with a fair amount of uncertainty regarding climate change impacts,” Burke said. “For these regions, you get half of the climate models telling you it’s going to get wetter and the other half giving you the opposite. As a result, our study raises the potential for very bad impacts in these regions but with much less certainty than in other regions.”

The study also pointed to a few developing regions, such as the temperate wheat-growing areas of China, that could benefit in the short run from climate change, he added.

Investing for change

In the face of these uncertainties, where should organizations be investing money, and what kind of adaptation investments make the most sense"

“There are the sure bets, such as maize in Southern Africa and rice in Southeast Asia, where all models agree that impacts will be negative,” Lobell said. “Then there are those cases where things could get really bad, such as for sorghum in the Sahel or millets in Central Africa, but where we are less certain. In the end, if a choice has to be made, individual institutions will have to decide for themselves whether to pursue the sure bets or the riskier but potentially high-payoff investments.”

The study arrived at a particularly useful time, said co-author Rosamond Naylor, director of FSE and senior fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment. “The international donor community is starting to invest once again in agricultural productivity in the developing world, and our study will help show where these investments might be the most worthwhile,” she said. “We know we can’t do everything right away, but this helps us know where to start.”

Naylor and her colleagues at FSE have begun looking at other aspects of climate and agriculture, including two multi-year studies on the impact of biofuels expansion on climate change and the world’s poor.

Source: Stanford University


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: africa; agw; asia; climatechange; cropfailure; globalwarming; hunger; southasia

1 posted on 02/01/2008 4:00:10 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster
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To: neverdem; SunkenCiv; blam

Ping!


2 posted on 02/01/2008 4:00:29 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster (kim jong-il, chia head, ppogri, In Grim Reaper we trust)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

The Lord controls the climate of the earth.


3 posted on 02/01/2008 4:00:58 AM PST by RoadTest (Free Compean and Ramos now! Then exonerate them. Then shame their persecutors! DO IT!)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

sooooo poor ppl are gonna starve from global warming....scare me into submission?

NEVAH!!


4 posted on 02/01/2008 4:01:57 AM PST by Casaubon (Internet Research Ninja Masta)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

” To determine the impact of global warming on agriculture in these regions, the authors analyzed 20 climate change models...”

Garbage in, garbage out.


5 posted on 02/01/2008 4:10:01 AM PST by mike-zed
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To: TigerLikesRooster

And THAT’S never happened before! Oh for the good ol’ days when the whole world was 70 degrees and temperate year around!


6 posted on 02/01/2008 4:13:22 AM PST by meowmeow (In Loving Memory of Our Dear Viking Kitty (1987-2006))
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To: TigerLikesRooster

“Impoverished areas of Africa and Asia face severe crop losses from climate change in 20 years”
_____________________________________________________

However, impoverished areas in the north of Asia and south of Africa will experience longer growing seasons -due to global warming- and thus benefiting. But since this won’t scare you into supporting the eviro-scam that is “The Global Warming Movement”, we’re just gonna print the potential negatives.


7 posted on 02/01/2008 4:17:28 AM PST by Bishop_Malachi (Liberal Socialism - A philosophy which advocates spreading a low standard of living equally.)
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To: mike-zed

It CAN’T be that incompentent or corrupt governments, ethnic cleansing and war have anything to do with lower crop yields!


8 posted on 02/01/2008 4:18:09 AM PST by catman67
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Women, children and poorest hit hardest.


9 posted on 02/01/2008 4:22:51 AM PST by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Thanks

I have begun to wring my hands and weep, as demanded by the Council of Correctness.

I do want it to be known that because of the additional actions I am now required to take, that I will have less time to devote to asteroids that may hit the earth, or super volcano's that may wipe us out.

I ask forgiveness.

10 posted on 02/01/2008 4:23:53 AM PST by G.Mason (And what is intelligence if not the craft of out-thinking our adversaries?)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

My computer models show the deserts will turn into a tropical rain forest.


11 posted on 02/01/2008 4:24:08 AM PST by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Wow, I guess all my old memories of starving people in Ethiopia and Indo-China who live where there isn't enough food production to support the population growth are fantasies then.

Personally I think Sam Kinison had the right idea - Don't send them food, send them Uhauls. That way they can move to WHERE THE FOOD IS!!

12 posted on 02/01/2008 4:42:20 AM PST by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Beowulf; Defendingliberty; WL-law; Normandy

Beam me to Planet Gore !

13 posted on 02/01/2008 4:43:34 AM PST by steelyourfaith
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To: Always Right
From this?

to this?

to this one too?

I'm confused as heck?

I thought the Left applauded change in name sake of diversity??

14 posted on 02/01/2008 4:46:05 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: Always Right
From this?

to this?

to this one too?

I'm confused as heck?

I thought the Left applauded change in name sake of diversity??

15 posted on 02/01/2008 4:47:56 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: RSmithOpt

excuse the double post...please


16 posted on 02/01/2008 4:48:24 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Curiously (or not), the biggest threat to third-world food supplies comes not from “glo-bull warming”, but from the left’s hysterical responses to the imagined threat. The surge to use my tax dollars to subsidize biofuels means that a very large percentage of farmland is being converted from growing food to growing ethanol. More unfarmed land is also being converted, with all the attendant environmental repercussions that that brings. The other thing these unhinged loony lefties haven’t considered is this “organic foods” foolishness. While they’re busy making themselves feel good about imaginary heath benefits, it takes more land to raise the same amount of food, since the yeilds are lower when you don’t use fertilizers or pesticides. That’s part of the (much) higher cost of the product. (The rest is an outrageous ripoff.) Result? More agricultural land eaten up by narcissistic Feelgod Foolishness. That equals more starvation for the most stressed people on the planet, i.e., poor people in third-world countries.
But it will be the Consevatives’ fault, just wait and see.


17 posted on 02/01/2008 4:54:02 AM PST by Humble Servant (Keep it simple - do what's right.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

“Impoverished areas of Africa and Asia face severe crop losses from climate change in 20 years”

Correct headline:

Impoverished areas of Africa and Asia face severe crop losses from Marxist dictators and useful idiots at universities


18 posted on 02/01/2008 5:22:17 AM PST by sergeantdave (The majority of Michigan voters are that stupid and the condition is incipient and growing.)
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To: Humble Servant
Actually, the biggest threat to third-world food supplies has been, and will continue to be, political.

Strong men dictators who take enormous bribes and graft rampant throughout third-world governments simply bleed the aid to the point of a trickle where it cannot benefit any of the intended recipients.

What these countries need is strong rule of law and property rights and let capitalism and entrepenaurialism take hold and all will be right.

The World Left doesn’t want to acknowledge this because Socialism cannot compete with the simple egalitarianism of the market place. That market place needs protection from brutal thugs and corrupt bureaucrats and then will make up for any deficits in any economy. If this was not so, Desert regions in the developed world would be Hell holes, too.

The UN is nothing more than a thug protection racket. The thugs want the Global Warming dollars from the guilty Liberal West, but could really care less for the plight of their own people.

The rulers of the various despotic countries of the World make up the majority of the UN's voting members. Until this changes, nothing will really help the poor overcome their poverty.

19 posted on 02/01/2008 5:29:05 AM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: Alas Babylon!

Zimbabwe - major tourist destination and food exporter until Comrade Mugabe ran the country and his people into the ground.


20 posted on 02/01/2008 5:32:15 AM PST by Sioux-san
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To: TigerLikesRooster

This is funny. The same people who can’t figure out what the “climate” will be doing next week are now adding crop forecasting to their list of specialties ?

Bwahahahahahahahahah !

Someone tell me this is from scrappleface, please.


21 posted on 02/01/2008 5:40:48 AM PST by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: Always Right
If you read about the Sahara, you will discover that it was a very fertile and wet area several thousand years ago. I guess all the Pharaoh’s chariots and SUVs changed the climate. ;0)
22 posted on 02/01/2008 6:14:05 AM PST by seemoAR
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Thanks.

Already posted here:

Impoverished Areas Of Africa And Asia Face Severe Crop Losses From Climate Change In 20 Years

23 posted on 02/01/2008 6:37:25 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: mike-zed
you get half of the climate models telling you it's going to get wetter and the other half giving you the opposite.

Yep it's GIGO all over again.....
24 posted on 02/01/2008 7:22:15 AM PST by RedMonqey
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To: TigerLikesRooster; neverdem
Thanks TLR. In response I was seeking an old article about how stopping grazing and letting the monsoon rains do their job leads to better conditions even in drier conditions. Couldn't find it, oh well.
Evolution in Your Face
by Patrick Huyghe
Omni
Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, is home to more than 300 species of cichlids. These fish, which are popular in aquariums, are deep-bodied and have one nostril, rather than the usual two, on each side of the head. Seismic profiles and cores of the lake taken by a team headed by Thomas C. Johnson of the University of Minnesota, reveal that the lake dried up completely about 12,400 years ago. This means that the rate of speciation of cichlid fishes has been extremely rapid: something on average of one new species every 40 years!

25 posted on 02/01/2008 7:57:03 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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To: Abathar
"We have deserts in our country, we just don't live in 'em, A-holes!"

A-holes!

26 posted on 02/01/2008 8:00:13 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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To: catman67; sergeantdave; Alas Babylon!; Sioux-san
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

27 posted on 02/01/2008 8:02:11 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I’m guessing that the new ice age will freeze their land and it is hard to plow with a sharp stick?


28 posted on 02/01/2008 8:08:25 AM PST by BillT
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To: TigerLikesRooster
"in 20 years"

In other words, long after this bogus prediction has been forgotten.
29 posted on 02/01/2008 11:07:05 AM PST by Steve_Seattle (|)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

The systematic slaughter of the white farmers throughout sub-Saharan Africa had nothing to do with the crop shortages, obviously.


30 posted on 02/01/2008 11:09:13 AM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: Abathar

“Personally I think Sam Kinison had the right idea - Don’t send them food, send them Uhauls. That way they can move to WHERE THE FOOD IS!!”

two things

- many people will pick up and move on

- one area’s weather “loss” will be offset by other areas weather “gains” and what will adjust for those changes will be markets - creating profits in the gaining areas which will also add to investments in the additional distribution systems needed in the losing areas, creating jobs and adding to employment and incomes in both areas


31 posted on 02/01/2008 1:25:12 PM PST by Wuli
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To: Alas Babylon!

That, too. I was thinking about that later this morning. Well put.


32 posted on 02/01/2008 1:41:22 PM PST by Humble Servant (Keep it simple - do what's right.)
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To: xcamel

ping


33 posted on 02/01/2008 2:05:19 PM PST by Fractal Trader (.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster; OKSooner; honolulugal; Killing Time; Beowulf; Mr. Peabody; RW_Whacko; ...

FReepmail me to get on or off


Click on POGW graphic for full GW rundown

New!!: Dr. John Ray's
GREENIE WATCH

Ping me if you find one I've missed.


Geee.. warmth extends the growing season, and CO2 is plant food...
34 posted on 02/01/2008 2:10:31 PM PST by xcamel (Two-hand-voting now in play - One on lever, other holding nose.)
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To: Alas Babylon!

“What these countries need is strong rule of law and property rights and let capitalism and entrepenaurialism take hold and all will be right.”

A survey of citizens in South Africa’s shantytowns confirmed exactly that sentiment and wish back in 2003.

On target, sir.


35 posted on 02/01/2008 4:41:19 PM PST by sergeantdave (The majority of Michigan voters are that stupid and the condition is incipient and growing.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Notice, nothing was said about global warming (that I could see). This is all about normal weather patterns, that the press just love to blow out of proportion. That’s the press’ job, or so they think. Report the bad news, and while you’re at it, really make it sound bad!


36 posted on 02/02/2008 4:29:13 AM PST by marvlus
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To: G.Mason

I have begun to wring my hands and weep, as demanded by the Council of Correctness....

...don’t forget to gnash your teeth as well...


37 posted on 02/03/2008 5:32:57 AM PST by IrishBrigade
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To: IrishBrigade
Duly noted.

Will do.

38 posted on 02/03/2008 5:45:22 AM PST by G.Mason (And what is intelligence if not the craft of out-thinking our adversaries?)
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