1. Agriculture World

Droughts Due to Climate Change are Major Source of Food Insecurity: IPCC Report

The report emphasized the impact of drought on food security, but it also warned that overall irrigation water demand would rise by 2080. According to the report, global warming would have a negative impact on both the food and water sectors, with higher risks at 2 degrees Celsius (°C) than at 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C).

Shivam Dwivedi
Picture indicating drought affected land
Picture indicating drought affected land

According to a new assessment report (AR) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate change has harmed agricultural production, and droughts have been a major contributor to food insecurity (IPCC). Droughts destroyed over 454 million hectares (ha) of cropland, accounting for three-quarters of the global harvested area, according to the report. It stated that the total production losses amounted to $166 billion (Rs 12.5 lakh crore). Extreme weather caused a 9-10% decrease in cereal production (1964-2007).

Findings of IPCC Report

According to the IPCC analysis, if global warming exceeds 1°C by 4°C instead of 1°C, rice production in India may fall by 30% rather than 10%. In this scenario, maize production will fall by 70% rather than 25%.

According to the IPCC report, yield losses were approximately 7% higher during recent droughts (1985-2007) due to greater damage (reduced harvested area) compared to losses from earlier droughts (1964-1984). Losses in high-income countries were approximately 8-11% higher than losses in low-income countries.

This irrigated cropland area accounts for 34% of global calorie production. According to the report, such agricultural water scarcity occurs primarily in drought-prone areas of low-income countries. According to the report, there was little evidence of floods affecting food production.

The report's authors estimated a 25% yield loss between 1961 and 2006. "Yield loss probability increased 22% for maize, 9% for rice, and 22% for soybean under 16 drought conditions."

The report emphasized the impact of drought on food security, but it also warned that overall irrigation water demand would rise by 2080. According to the report, global warming would have a negative impact on both the food and water sectors, with higher risks at 2 degrees Celsius (°C) than at 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C).

Due to climatic and non-climatic drivers, roughly half of the world's population currently faces severe water scarcity for at least some of the year. While overall agricultural productivity has increased, climate change has slowed this growth over the last 50 years, according to the report.

According to the IPCC report, 10% of the most water-stressed basins account for 35% of global irrigated calorie production, and food production is at risk in those basins and globally due to changes in climate change hydrological components. Changes in the crop, farming systems, and crop areas were also estimated in almost all regions, with negative implications for food security.

Under a high-emission scenario, current global crop and livestock areas will become increasingly climatically unsuitable in major food-producing regions. According to the report, the impact on food availability and nutritional quality will increase the number of people at risk of hunger, malnutrition, and diet-related mortality.

These abrupt losses in food production and access to food, combined with a decrease in diet diversity, have resulted in increased malnutrition in many communities. This will disproportionately affect indigenous peoples, small-scale food producers, low-income households, children, the elderly, and pregnant women.

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters