Climate change will exacerbate the
price increase, shortage and affect the quality of food, according to a report
released by United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The study was prepared by more than
100 scientists and was unanimously approved by diplomats from nations around
the world at a meeting in Geneva.
The U.N report warned that food will
become very expensive as the food supply continues to diminish at an alarming
“The stability of food supply is
projected to decrease as the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events
that disrupt food chains increases,” the report said.
According to the study, droughts,
flooding, extreme weather disturbances, higher temperatures and permafrost thaw
have adversely affected food production.
The quality of food has also been
compromised by the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
However, as grim as the prognosis,
one of the lead authors said that the situation is not entirely hopeless.
“One of the important findings of our
work is that there are a lot of actions that we can take now. They’re available
to us,” Pamela McElwee told The New York Times.
“What some of these solutions do
require is attention, financial support, and enabling environments.”
Scientists also stated that if people
changed the way they consume, produce food, and manage land resources, there
will be enough supply to feed the world.
For instance, people could help
lessen carbon emissions by adopting no-till farming techniques while consumers can
opt to eat more vegetables and less meat.
The report also featured how the
man-made climate change continues to severely damage the land. Likewise, the
way people use the land is worsening the effects of global warming.
According to the authors, this is a
vicious cycle that needs to be altered now.
“The cycle is
accelerating,” said NASA climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, a report
co-author. “The threat of climate change affecting people’s food on their
dinner table is increasing.”
“The way we use land is both
part of the problem and also part of the solution,” said Valerie
Masson-Delmotte, a French climate scientist who co-chairs one of the panel’s
“Sustainable land management can
help secure a future that is comfortable.”
Scientists in a Thursday conference
stressed the importance of acting and making changes soon.
“We don’t want a message of
despair,” said science panel official Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial
want to get across the message that every action makes a difference”