Global food security under climate change

Edited by William Easterling, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, and accepted by the Editorial Board August 16, 2007
December 11, 2007
104 (50) 19703-19708

Abstract

This article reviews the potential impacts of climate change on food security. It is found that of the four main elements of food security, i.e., availability, stability, utilization, and access, only the first is routinely addressed in simulation studies. To this end, published results indicate that the impacts of climate change are significant, however, with a wide projected range (between 5 million and 170 million additional people at risk of hunger by 2080) strongly depending on assumed socio-economic development. The likely impacts of climate change on the other important dimensions of food security are discussed qualitatively, indicating the potential for further negative impacts beyond those currently assessed with models. Finally, strengths and weaknesses of current assessment studies are discussed, suggesting improvements and proposing avenues for new analyses.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Sumiter Broca and Jelle Bruinsma of the FAO for comments and two anonymous reviewers who helped improve the clarity of this manuscript.

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Information & Authors

Information

Published in

Go to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Vol. 104 | No. 50
December 11, 2007
PubMed: 18077404

Classifications

Submission history

Received: March 3, 2007
Published online: December 11, 2007
Published in issue: December 11, 2007

Keywords

  1. hunger
  2. vulnerability
  3. food supply
  4. agriculture

Acknowledgments

We thank Sumiter Broca and Jelle Bruinsma of the FAO for comments and two anonymous reviewers who helped improve the clarity of this manuscript.

Notes

This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. W.E. is a guest editor invited by the Editorial Board.
These estimates refer to the difference between SRES A1FI and a no-climate-change scenario. Total land includes the classes very suitable, suitable, and moderately suitable, while agricultural prime land is limited to very suitable and suitable land. Crops are limited to major food and fiber crops.
All projected changes in GDP and agricultural GDP are in constant 1990 prices. For further regional and climate-specific details see table 4.11 in ref. 9.

Authors

Affiliations

Josef Schmidhuber [email protected]
Global Perspective Studies Unit, Food and Agriculture Organization, 00100 Rome, Italy;
Francesco N. Tubiello
Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025; and
Land Use Change Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria

Notes

To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: [email protected]
Author contributions: J.S. and F.N.T. designed research, contributed new reagents/analytic tools, analyzed data, and wrote the paper.

Competing Interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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    Global food security under climate change
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    • Vol. 104
    • No. 50
    • pp. 19657-20143

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