Climate change threatens food supplies

11 December, 2019 12:00 AM printer

PARIS: Climate change threatens food supplies if extreme weather conditions hit more than one grain producing region at a time, scientists warned Monday.

Weather is a key variable and normally crop losses in one region are compensated by another, helped along by storage and trading systems resilient to short term disruption, reports AFP.

However, it is now "doubtful whether the current system is resilient to more extreme climatic conditions," a report said in the journal Nature Climate Change.

A team from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) based in Austria said climate change not only resulted in higher temperatures but is also producing more severe climatic events such as drought, heatwaves and floods.

"Climatic shocks to agricultural production contribute to food price spikes and famine, with the potential to trigger other systemic risks, including political unrest and migration," IIASA lead author Franziska Gaupp said.

The IIASA study said climate and crop yield data from 1967 to 2012 showed "a significant increase in the probability of multiple global breadbasket failures for particularly wheat, maize, and soybeans."