Climate Change and Food Security
Nov 2013 Experts: world's soil is at risk
Around the world a silent crisis in building in the soil that feeds us, putting
global food security at risk as demand for nutrition soars in the coming half
Scientists estimate the world now loses about 75 billion tonnes of topsoil a year as it tries to feed itself. This rate is liable to grow as demand for food increases and the climate changes.
“Recent satellite surveys have shown a one per cent decline in the world’s farmed and grazed area every year over the past quarter of a century, due to a combination of land degradation and urban sprawl,”
China is now the world’s leading producer of wheat. India is number two. The United States is third. In contrast to the United States, most wheat grown in China and India is irrigated.
For rice, these two countries totally dominate the world harvest.
The 11,000 year period of relative climate stability in which agriculture developed is over.
LAND FOOD & PRICES PEOPLE
2012 Study: Global crop
production shows some signs of stagnating
Developing countries are home to roughly 80 percent of the world’s population, 98 percent of humanity’s hungry people, and 78 percent of harvested croplands.
Africa holds 65 per cent of the world’s arable land. (Where does the world’s food grow? Mar 2016)
Land is a finite resource: Global arable lands = 1/32 of the planet
• 52% of agricultural land affected by degradation
• Land sector emissions: 6.2 Billion tonnes (6.2Gt) of CO2-e per year
• 1.8 billion of world population in 2025 will be living with absolute water scarcity
and 2/3 (or 5.3 billion) could live under water-stress conditions
• Land degradation over the next 25 years may reduce global food production by
up to 12%, and lead to an increase of, as much as, 30% of world food prices
• World Drylands = 40% land mass; 1/3 population; 44% food production system
• 925 million people going hungry (80%: small-holder farmers & landless poor in
• 40% interstate conflicts associated with land and natural resources: in 2008 in
more than 30 countries
• Some 135 million people may be displaced by 2045 as a result of desertification
(UNFCCC SED 2014 UNCCD)