Policymakers around the world continue to respond to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Worldwide food production will be hit when global warming reaches 1.5C, with serious implications for the food supply over the next two decades, scientists warned in the largest scientific report on the climate crisis.
Higher temperatures will mean there will be more times of the year when temperatures are higher than what crops can withstand., said the sixth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released Monday.
Politicians around the world continued to respond to the report. Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, posted a video on his social media channel outlining four areas he would like to focus on ahead of the fall summit on climate change: ban on the use of coal for electricity generation by 2040, as well as fossil fuels in transport; get countries to allocate money to help poorer states in the fight against climate change; and nstop "deforestation".
US President Joe Biden was pressured to get the climate change bill passed after he said, "We can't wait to tackle the climate crisis." The signs are unmistakable. The scientific evidence is undeniable. And the cost of inaction continues to rise."
In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison pointed a finger at China, saying in a news conference on Tuesday that the fact that developing countries account for "two-thirds of global emissions" cannot be ignored, and adding that China's emissions "account for more than the entire OECD combined."
The Chinese government issued a statement to AFP stating that "China insists on prioritizing sustainable, green and low-carbon development"It added that President Xi Jinping intends to" strictly control "the growth of coal-fired power plants.
The report states that changing rainfall patterns will make many areas vulnerable to drought, and extreme weather conditions will impede agriculture and damage crops.
Bonnie Waring, Senior Lecturer at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, said: "Globally, more than 80% of calories consumed come from just 10 crops, including rice, corn and wheat. While some staple crops - such as soybeans - may do better in a warmer future, warmer temperatures and increasingly frequent droughts are likely will lead to lower yields of these key crops in many regions of the world".
The full range of damage will be fully disclosed only next year, when the IPCC publishes the second part of its landmark assessment, which will consider the consequences of climate change for the main spheres of human life and the planet.
The first part of the report, published this week, focuses on the physical science behind climate change - that is, what will happen to the atmosphere, seas and land - but based on these findings, many of the likely damage to agriculture can already be estimated.
Ilan Kelman, professor of disaster and health at University College London, said: “If we don't take action, then a significant number of people may face serious food problems… Rising temperatures and humidity will wreak havoc on current crops and livestock production, while droughts and floods can destroy crops. To counter these consequences, significant changes in agricultural practices will be required, including changes in crops and livestock".
David Ray, professor of carbon management at the University of Edinburgh, added: “For staple foods like rice - the main source of food for more than a billion people - warming does not just alter rainfall, it threatens the meltwater of glaciers that irrigate millions of hectares of southern arable land. Asia "."
Extreme weather this year has highlighted another serious impact: when the temperature of the "damp heat" rises sharply, people cannot work safely in the fields. Such conditions occur in high temperature and high humidity conditions when the human body cannot effectively wick away sweat
Some people suggest that warming temperatures can be beneficial for agriculture because it allows for longer growing seasons in northern latitudes and because of the fertilizing effect of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide that plants absorb from the air as they grow. Mark Maslin, professor of earth systems science at the University of California, rejected these claims. "Any benefits are likely to be small and outweigh the damage and risk of extreme weather conditions," he said, warning that rise in food prices will also pose a great danger.
Livestock will also suffer, although reducing our dependence on meat and dairy products is likely to be one of the main ways to slow global warming: Methane, most of which comes from agricultural sources including ruminants and manure, is one of the main reasons for the deterioration of the climate (Comment: Seriously? The cows told us about global warming ?!) specified in the IPCC assessment report.
Rob Percival, head of food and health policy at the UK Soil Association, said people don't need to give up eating or producing meat, but food consumption patterns must change with their production… "The rapid transition to agro-ecological farming offers a healthier and more sustainable approach to food production and requires a change in our diet to reduce the quantity and quality of meat, with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables and the consumption of more legumes and legumes", - he said.
Shefali Sharma, director of the Agriculture and Trade Policy Institute, told the Guardian newspaper that all areas will be affected, not just the poorer regions of the world, where many farmers are already vulnerable, and that all governments must act urgently. "Governments must now begin to take urgent steps to build resilience in agri-food systems. This means improving soil health, crop and animal biodiversity, serious extension work based on traditional knowledge and local breeds and seeds, and adequate support for adaptation."