Saturday, August 15, 2015

Extreme Weather Puts Africa’s Food Security at Risk

A British government scientific panel says increasingly frequent heat waves, droughts and other extreme weather threaten more – and more severe – global food crises.

November 2013: The Philippines confronts the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan (Image Credit: Kennedy, Liam via Wikimedia Commons) Click to Enlarge.
Developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa which depend heavily on food imports will be worst hit by the increasingly extreme global weather, a report says, with the Middle East and North Africa also threatened, in this case by social unrest.

In contrast, the authors say the impact on the world’s biggest economies is likely to be “muted”.  But they think a serious crisis could occur as soon as 2016, with repercussions in many countries.

They write:  “We present evidence that the global food system is vulnerable to production shocks caused by extreme weather, and that this risk is growing…preliminary analysis of limited existing data suggests that the risk of a 1-in-100 year production shock is likely to increase to 1-in-30 or more by 2040.”

The report was jointly commissioned by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its Government Science and Innovation Network, with a foreword by the country’s former chief government scientist, Sir David King.

He writes:  “We know that the climate is changing and weather records are being broken all the time… The food system we increasingly rely on is a global enterprise.  Up to now it’s been pretty robust and extreme weather has had limited impact on a global scale.  But…the risks are serious and should be a cause for concern…

Read more at Extreme Weather Puts Africa’s Food Security at Risk

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