Sunday, June 20, 2010

Climate change impact on food supply

Many people connect climate change only with extreme weather events and increased temperatures but climate change is much bigger problem that has many different dimensions. One of these dimensions is no doubt food supply, and according to the latest report from the Utrecht University climate change will threaten the food supply of more than 60 million people in Asia in the coming decades.

The main reason why climate change will likely have this highly negative impact on food supply in Asia is because increased temperatures will drastically reduce the discharge of snow and ice meltwater in a region of the Himalayas.

It is estimated that more than one billion people depend on the meltwater supplied by the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Yangtze and Yellow River. According to the scientists the most important is the meltwater in the Indus basin because the downstream sections of the Indus are dry, are home to one of the largest irrigation networks in the world and are completely dependent on meltwater.

The Dutch scientists believe that the Brahmaputra and Indus are the most vulnerable, and that this will threaten the food supply of the approximately 60 million people that live in these areas by the year 2050.

It also needs to be said that Dutch scientists do not include the possibility of the opposite scenario because in the Yellow River basin, an increase in wintertime rainfall is expected, resulting in increased availability of water early in the growing season.

This latest study was the combination of hydrologic models, climate forecasts from five different climate scenarios, and satellite images depicting snow and ice, rainfall, and changes in the Earth's gravitational field.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really good article.
    I got alot of understanding out of it.