CCAFS Examines Climate Impacts on Agricultural and Natural Resource Commodities

October 2012: Highlighting the challenge that climate change poses to agricultural systems and the goal of feeding nine to ten billion people by 2050, the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Programme has released an analysis of climate impacts on food crops and natural resources.

The policy brief, titled "Recalibrating food production in the developing world: global warming will challenge more than just the climate," notes that climate impacts are more complex than simply heat and water tolerance for plants, and that there are feedback cycles in how natural resource are managed and their resilience to climate change. It highlights that durable crops might cope with warm weather but may not resist the insects and diseases whose prevalence will increase.

The brief describes changes that will face common staples like wheat, maize and corn, and impacts on livestock and fisheries. It further notes that trees will continue to be valued as a provider of agricultural commodities like nuts and fruit; both as a mitigating resource that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and as a staple of adaptation.

The brief is a summary/complement to a recent CCAFS publication on the Impacts of Climate Change on the Agricultural and Aquatic Systems and Natural Resources within CGIAR's Mandate. CCAFS is a programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [Publication: Recalibrating Food Production in the Developing World: Global Warming Will Challenge More Than Just the Climate] [IISD RS Story on the CCAFS Report on the Impacts of Climate Change on the Agricultural and Aquatic Systems]