Climate Change Threatens India’s Food Security

Apr 2nd, 2014 | By | Category: Development and Climate Change, Food, News

High levels of warming resulting from continued growth in greenhouse gas emissions may have an adverse impact on India’s food security especially on rice and maize production, said a report on climate change.

Press Trust of India (PTI) reports the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as saying that India’s fisheries could also be negatively affected by climate change.

CO2 emissions are often accompanied by ozone (O3) precursors leading to a rise in tropospheric O3 that harms crop yields, IPCC said in its report titled “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” released Monday in Yokohama, Japan.

“Elevated O3 since pre-industrial times has very likely suppressed global production of major crops, with estimated losses of roughly 10 percent for wheat and soyabean and 3-5 percent for maize and rice,” the report said.

Impacts are most severe in India and China but are also evident for soyabean and maize in the United States, said IPCC.

Climate trends like increase in air temperature and changes in monsoon pattern are affecting the abundance and distribution of fisheries in the Ganges (or Ganga) River and its fishery resources.

“Changes in climate variables including regional monsoon variation and increase in incidence of severe storms have led to changes in the composition of species in the Ganges River, and have reduced the availability of fish spawn for aquaculture in the river,” the report said.

On livestock, IPCC said climate change can affect the quantity and quality of produce, reliability and profitability of wool and livestock farming that relies primarily on fodders, grasslands and rangelands.

Higher temperature would lead to decline in dairy production, reduced animal weight gain, problems in reproduction, increased cost of production and lower food conversion efficiency in warm regions.

“Disease incidence among livestock is expected to be exacerbated by climate change,” adds the report.

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