Climate change causes greatest risk to food supply, says climate body

The greatest threat to the future of the world’s food supply is climate change, according to a draft report by the UN-appointed group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The warning, which was found in a leaked draft document on Friday, states that the effects of climate change are likely to intensify as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, The SMH reports.

Although the draft document is still in its preliminary stages, the report explains that as water levels rise due to land ice melting, coastal communities will be at risk of flooding, placing plants and animals at great risk – with many predicted to become extinct.

In order to protect a significant part of the world’s biodiversity, the report suggests that aggressive human management of natural systems may be required.

The report found that rising temperatures could potentially benefit northern countries which traditionally have marginal food production capacities, but overall, the impacts of climate change has the potential to reduce agricultural output by up to 2 percent per decade, while food demand concurrently rises by 14 percent a decade.

The shortage of food is believed to impact of the world’ poorest the most as food prices rise and supply become scarce.

Agricultural risks “are greatest for tropical countries, given projected impacts that exceed adaptive capacity and higher poverty rates compared with temperate regions”, the draft report states.

A spokesperson for the Intergovernmental Panel, Jonthan Lynn told the SMH that the report was still a “work in progress.”

''We don't have anything to say about the contents. It's likely to change,” he said.


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