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Food and Climate
1. Plants and climate
2. The climate change issue
- climate change effects on plants
- contribution of agriculture
- future food production
* Worksheet 1
* Worksheet 2
* Worksheet 3
3. Drought in the Mediterranean
food and climate

Food & Climate 


Unit 2:
The climate change issue 

Climate change is an important environmental issue today.  Our actions now will affect the future of our planet.  We have to decide today what we want our future to be like and how we go about achieving this aim.



affected Sectors by climate change

1. Sectors that would be seriously affected by climate change.

Changes in climate affect:

Ecosystems. Both plants and animals are affected by the temperature and precipitation regimes where they live.  For example, birds from Northern Africa migrate to Southern Europe in the the early summer to avoid the high summer heat in Northern Africa.  If Africa becomes hotter, the birds will have to migrate earlier in the season and will have to face a different environment in Europe and will have to compete with other species for food.  These changes may result in habitat reduction and even the disappearance of some species.


Food Production. The food we eat comes directly or indirectly from plant production. We eat plants directly (e.g. wheat, rice, potatoes, vegetables and fruits) or indirectly (by eating meat that comes from animals that have eaten corn, soyabeans or grass). All plants are affected by the temperature and precipitation regimes where they are grown. For example, rice is the staple food for the Asian population. If southern Asia becomes too hot for rice cultivation, many people will be at risk of malnutrition.

Water Resources. Rainfall directly affects the amount of water in rivers and lakes and temperature affects how the water evaporates and how it is used. Humans and ecosystems rely on the availability of water and many regions of the globe suffer severe water shortages now.  The health issues related to potential reductions in water quantity and quality are enormous.


Economy. Almost all sectors of the economy are affected directly or indirectly by climate. A few examples include:  Insurance companies may not insure buildings in areas where flood risk increases.  Energy requirements for air conditioning will increase with great implications for the energy sector.  Tourism will also be affected.  Many winter sports resorts will close as less snow is predicted in the Alps.



About this page:
Author:  Marta Moneo and Dr. 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 published: 2004-05-12



last updated 23.02.2006 19:19:01 | © ESPERE-ENC 2003 - 2013