J-WAFS zeroes in on food security as agricultural impacts of the climate crisis become more apparent


Early this August, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued yet another in a series of grave and disquieting reports outlining the extreme challenges placed on the Earth’s systems by the climate crisis. Most IPCC reports and accompanying media coverage tend to emphasize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from energy and transportation sectors, along with the weather and sea-level impacts of climate change and their direct impact on vulnerable human populations. However, this particular report, the “Special Report on Climate Change and Land,” presents a sobering set of data and analyses addressing the substantial contributions of agriculture to climate change and the ways the climate crisis is projected to jeopardize global food security if urgent action is not taken at the individual, institutional, industry, and governmental levels.

There is an ever-increasing public awareness about climate’s effects on the frequency and intensity of extreme weather, threats to coastal cities, and the rapid decline in the biodiversity of the Earth’s ecosystems. However, the impact of climate change on land and food production — and the impact of our food systems on climate change — is just beginning to enter the wider public discourse.

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Source: MIT News