Climate “hotspots” put hundreds of millions at risk

2 June, 2011 by (comments)

A five-year global climate change research program led by CIAT has just published a major report into the expected global warming “hotspots” – and the news is not good for farmers in the the tropics.

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The report, released today by the CGIAR’s Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Research Program (CCAFS), predicts that those in South Asia, including almost all of India,  and sub-Saharan Africa face a very rough ride due to the effect of shorter growing seasons on food production. It claims the changes could  imperil hundreds of millions of already-impoverished people.

Latin America also faces significant challenges, with the report predicting that by 2050, prime growing conditions in Brazil and Mexico could drop below the necessary 120-days per season minimum, affecting staple food crops like maize, and forages for livestock.

The report comes just days after the US Earth Systems Research Lab released a study showing that global carbon dioxide emissions had reached an all-time high, and that the the world is fast approaching the emissions limit for keeping temperature rises within two degrees Celsius.

“The CCAFS report is further compelling evidence of the urgent need for swift and effective climate change adaptation to protect both small farmers, and the global food supply,” said CIAT’s Andy Jarvis. “The challenge is unprecedented, but nobody can ignore the science anymore; it’s time for action.”

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Filed Under: Climate Change, Latin America and the Caribbean, Regions