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Food & Climate 



Providing sufficient food for the world's people is becoming more difficult as the population exceeds 6 billion and as land, water, and ecosystems resources are degraded through overuse. Changes in the global pattern of supply and demand may have consequences further than just a few places on Earth because of the interdependence of the world's food systems.


Climate is an essential component of the natural capital and an important element of sustainable development. Agriculture and water resources are intrinsically linked with climate.

If the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues without limit, it is bound, sooner or later, to warm the earth's surface affecting regional climates. Global warming is expected to also change the patterns of climate variability and increase the occurrence of extreme weather events.

There is now concern that these changes in climate in different regions due to global warming have the potential for affecting food production, crop pests and diseases, and production costs. The negative impacts are expected to fall disproportionately on the poor.

In this first level of the Food and Climate Unit, we will focus on explaining how this changes in climate might affect food production and the ways in which climate interacts with plants and food production systems in the world.


1. PLants and climate

- Plants and the environment
- Distribution of the major crops
- Weeds,Pests and diseases
* Worksheet 1.
* Worksheet 2.
* Worksheet 3.

2. Predicting the future

- Climate Change Effects on plants
- Contribution of agriculture
- What may happen to food production?
* Worksheet 1.
* Worksheet 2.
* Worksheet 3.

3. Drought in the Mediterranean

- What is drought?
- Causes and types of droughts
- Drought and Fire
* Worksheet 1.
* Worksheet 2.
* Worksheet 3.

Author:  Marta Moneo and Ana Iglesias- Universidad Politécnica de Madrid - España
1. Scientific reviewer: Alex de Sherbinin - CIESIN, Columbia University - USA
2. Scientific reviewer: Lily Parshall - Goddard Institute for space studies, Columbia University - USA
Educational reviewer: Emilio Sternfeld - Colegio Virgen de Mirasierra - España
Last update: 12/05/2004
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