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Climate change research findings > Food and Water

Raging Storms and Rising Seas Swelling the Ranks of Climate Refugees (August 15, 2011)

As yet another extreme weather event breaches the abilities of societies to cope, this work addresses the already-overwhelming pressures on peoples at the margins — of our rising oceans, of water and food security, and perhaps of our capacity for concern. “The country where rising seas threaten the most people is China, with 144 million potential climate refugees. India and Bangladesh are next, with 63 million and 62 million respectively. Viet Nam has 43 million vulnerable people, and Indonesia 42 million. Also in the top 10 are Japan with 30 million, Egypt with 26 million, and the United States with 23 million.” The article does not address the additional impact of encroaching salinization on coastal agriculture.
Source: Earth Policy Institute / Lester R. Brown

World on the Edge by the Numbers – Grain Production Falling as Soil Erosion Continues (August 2, 2011)

Increased heat energy retention by greenhouse gases affects precipitation as well as temperature, leading to myriad secondary effects. Focusing on soil loss in Haiti, Lesotho, Mongolia, and North Korea, this brief report neglects the crime of the direct, man-made damage from military and economic interferences which have rendered these areas and the people that inhabit them even more vulnerable to climate change.
Source: Earth Policy Institute

Groundwater Depletion Rate Accelerating Worldwide (September 23, 2010)

Global warming threatens the world’s freshwater supplies. An additional threat is the increasing depletion of groundwater (especially in northwest India, northeastern China, northeast Pakistan, California’s central valley, and the midwestern United States), calculated to be at a rate that would, if all of it came from the Great Lakes, empty them in 80 years. Much of this water ends up in the oceans, and contributes one quarter of the current yearly sea level rise.
Source: Science Daily / American Geophysical Union.

Drought Drives Decade-Long Decline in Plant Growth (August 21, 2010)

In the current climate of increasing food insecurity, even a small decrease in plant productivity is cause for alarm. This study indicates a shift from global-warming-driven increases to a decline thought to be due to drought in southern latitudes.
Source: Science Daily / NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Lowering Daisy's Emissions: Battle Against Agricultural Climate Offenders (August 21, 2010)

“[I]t is emissions of the greenhouse gases methane (CH4, from cattle) and nitrous oxide (N2O, from the soil and fertilisers) that make agriculture such a major climate culprit.” Proper agronomic practices at the level of the individual farmer my help.
Source: Science Daily / The Research Council of Norway

Greenhouse Gas Calculator Connects Farming Practices With Carbon Credits (August 12, 2010)

While there is controversy over proposals to establish market schemes for carbon/greenhouse gases, a “Farming Systems Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator” offers a way to estimate how farming practices can have an impact, “by installing methane capture technologies in animal-based systems, no-till farming, establishing grasslands, and planting trees”, and minimizing fertilizer use.
Source: Science Daily / American Society of Agronomy

Climate Change Threatens Food Supply of 60 Million People in Asia (July 18, 2010)

Food scarcity due to water scarcity lies ahead for up to a billion people in South and Southeast Asia, according to climate model predictions of melting of Himalayan glaciers (the “water tower” of the region). However, the predicted impacts due to rivers drying may be unevenly distributed geographically, and, of course, are subject to the uncertainty of the underlying assumptions.
Source: Science Daily / Utrecht University

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