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

Food & Climate 


The climate change issue 

Climate change derived form burning of fossil fuels is becoming an important issue and we recognize that our actions and the way we live will affect our future. We have to decide now what we want our future to be and how we have to act in order to get there.



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 in their habitats. For example, at present birds from Northern Africa migrate to Southern Europe in early summer to avoid summer heat in Northern Africa; if Africa becomes hotter, they will migrate earlier in the season and will have to face a different environment and competition with other species. These changes may result in habitat reduction and even disappearance of some species.



Food Production. Our food is based on plant production. We eat plants directly (bread form wheat, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, etc.) or indirectly (by eating meat that comes form animals that have eaten corn, soybean or simple pasture). All plants are affected by the temperature and precipitation of the places where they are grown. For example, in Asia rice is the main food for the population. If southern Asia becomes too hot for rice cultivation, many people will be at risk of suffering mal-nutrition and the health impact will be important.

Water Resources. Rainfall directly affects the water in rivers and lakes and temperature affects how the water evaporates and how it is used. Water availability is key to both humans and ecosystems and many regions of the globe suffer severe shortages in water in the present. The health issues related to potential reduction in water quantity and quality are great.


Economy. Almost all sectors of the economy are affected directly or indirectly by climate. This can be illustrated with some examples. Skiers may not be able to go to certain places in the Alps since the snow conditions will certainly change. The energy requirements for air conditioning will increase with great implications for the energy sector. The insurance companies may not want to insure buildings that are in areas that become vulnerable to floods.   



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



last updated 11.07.2005 10:26:20 | © ESPERE-ENC 2003 - 2013