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Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3
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Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture - Module 3

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Part I - Agriculture, food security and ecosystems: current and future challenges …

Part I - Agriculture, food security and ecosystems: current and future challenges
Module 3:
Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production

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  • 1. CLIMATE-RESILIENT AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND AGRICULTURE OR “CLIMATE-SMART” AGRICULTURE Information package for government authorities
  • 2. Introduction to the information package The future of humankind and the planet relies on human activities becoming more efficient, the food chain being no exception. This online information package was written with the idea of providing an overview of the challenges that the agriculture sector—and to a certain extent the food production chain—faces to feed the world while becoming more efficient. It also explores ways to address these challenges. Through simplified concepts and relevant resources and examples, we explore the impacts of global change on agriculture, the impacts of agriculture on ecosystems and possible technical and policy considerations that can help building food security under current and future challenges. The technical and policy considerations explored are meant to contribute towards climate-resilient and environmentally sound or “climate-smart” agriculture— agriculture that increases productivity; enhances resilience to global change; stops ecosystem services deterioration; and produces economic and social benefits. The information presented here comes from findings, experience and ideas from all over the world, as we believe there are already elements to catalyse change. We also believe this change has to come largely from local communities, for which reason, wherever possible, we provide examples at local levels. See how to use the information package.
  • 3. PART I AGRICULTURE, FOOD SECURITY AND ECOSYSTEMS: CURRENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES PART II ADDRESSING CHALLENGES PACKAGE CONTENT
  • 4. MODULE 3 IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON AGRO-ECOSYSTEMS AND FOOD PRODUCTION
  • 5. Module objectives and structure Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production Objectives This module summarises information on observed and potential climate change impacts on agro-ecosystems and food production according to the latest knowledge available. Structure This module starts with observed or potential impacts on natural resources on which agriculture depends, followed by those on major agricultural activities, food safety and food security. A slide on general concepts is included for each topic, followed by a example and occasionally a slide on reflections. Illustrations are linked to files with a larger view, expanding on the topics covered or providing access to full text documents. Caveat We give examples of specific areas or research, which cannot be generalised and are only valid for the areas covered and according to what is presently known. As in all branches of knowledge these can change as observations and models improve. In many cases research is not sufficient to establish patterns, therefore projections need to be taken with precaution and always in the context of local conditions and specific systems. Examples provided are not meant to be exhaustive and cover all areas of agriculture, which would be beyond the scope of this information package.
  • 6. Impacts of climate change • The food chain will be highly vulnerable to climate change • There is still uncertainty about the impacts of climate change on specific systems • Food security, as well as social and economic stability, may be ultimately affected The food chain will be vulnerable to temperature rise, changes in rain and snow fall, the incidence of weather events, sea level rise and higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Impacts will depend on specific regions or systems and their capacity to reduce them. In some cases impacts may be positive, although current knowledge points out that in many places negative impacts will outweigh positive ones. There is still uncertainty on the potential impacts of climate change on specific agro-ecosystems. The availability and quality of natural resources, the conditions to allow for the production, storage and distribution of food, will be fundamental for food security under climate change threats. If appropriate actions are not taken at different levels, food security will be affected by climate variability and change at the expense of social and economic stability of all nations. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production Climate change will depress agricultural yields in most countries by 2050 given current agricultural practices and crops. Source: World Development Report 2010, The World Bank.
  • 7. Impacts on water • There is limited literature on impacts of climate change on water for agriculture in specific regions • In general climate change is expected to affect availability and demand of water for agriculture The impacts of climate change on water resources may be: • Reduced availability of water in regions affected by decrease in annual or seasonal precipitation. • Higher incidence of weather events leading to floods or droughts. • Reduced storage of water in the form of snow and earlier melting of winter snow, leading to shifts in peak runoff from the seasons where demand is highest. • Inundation and damage in low-lying coastal areas affected by sea level rise and storm surges, as well as increased saline intrusion into freshwater aquifers. • Increased crop water demand due to higher temperatures. For impacts of climate change on water resources in general see the IPCC’s technical report Climate Change and Water. Impacts of temperature increase on water resources. Source: IPCC AR4 SYR-3. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 8. Impacts on water Examples Impacts on water for agriculture in Australia According to the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, climate change is likely to affect rivers and dams that supply most of the water used in Australian agriculture. Potential evaporation is likely to increase and this, combined with expected reductions in rainfall, suggests that up to 20% more droughts could occur across Australia by 2030. An example is that of the Murray Darling Basin, where by 2030 the average decline in flows is projected to be 11% (9% in the north and 13% in the south). Junction of the Murray and Darling rivers at Wentworth, in the lower Murray-Darling Catchment. Photo: Murray Darling Environmental Foundation. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 9. Impacts on water Examples Prospective changes in irrigation water requirements in the eastern arc mountains of Kenya A study by Eiji Maeda et al. (2011) in the Taita Hills, Kenya, indicated that in the next 20 years the low availability of arable lands in the hills will drive agricultural expansion to areas with higher irrigation water requirements (IWR) in the foothills. This expansion will increase the annual water volume necessary for irrigation by approximately 40%. Climate change may slightly decrease IWR in April and November by 2030, while in May a small increase will likely be observed. The integrated assessment of these changes allow for the identification of priority regions for land use allocation policies and water resources management. View from Ngangao hilltop towards Mbololo, Kenya and results from Eji Maeda et al. The landscapes of the Taita Hills are featured by forests, intensive agricultural lands and rock outcrops. Photo: Taita Research Station, University of Helsinki. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 10. Impacts on soils • A healthy soil is key to agricultural production • Climate change may have different types of impacts on soils, arising from changes in precipitation, runoff and temperature, including physical, chemical and biological Climate change is expected to affect soils by: • Decreasing soil moisture (from less precipitation and runoff and changes in evapotranspiration); • Increasing soil erosion (from strong winds, storms and landslides caused by weather events); • Increasing soil salinization in coastal areas (from sea level rise); • Increasing inundation and waterlogging (from excessive precipitation or floods caused by weather events); • Changing soil carbon storage and the capacity of soils to retain/release nutrients (from temperature and precipitation changes); • Affecting soil biota and the processes that contribute to crop growth (from temperature and precipitation changes). Soils after a prolonged drought (top) and inundated after intense rains (above). Photos: FAO and Department of Agriculture and Food, Australia. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 11. Impacts on soils Examples Impacts of sea level rise and increases in frequency of weather events on soils Rosenzweig et al. calculated that losses due to excessive soil moisture, caused by heavier precipitation in the USA, would double by 2030 to US$3 billion/ year. According to UNDP, the productivity of most paddy fields in Sri Lanka declines every year due to salinization. This condition is predicted to increase with climate change. Gully erosion in an unprotected cornfield following a storm in Tennessee, USA. Photo: Tim McCabe, NRCS. Soil salinization in coastal areas, Sri Lanka. Photo: Project Nelumwewa, Puttalam, UNDP- DRM. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 12. Impacts on soils Examples Impacts of climate change on soil carbon stocks in four ecoregions The study Climate change and its impact on soil and vegetation carbon storage in Kenya, Jordan, India and Brazil modelled the effects of climate change on soil carbon storage in four ecoregions. The study projected that between 2000 and 2100 soil carbon stocks would decrease in Amazonian Brazil; increase in Kenya; and change slightly in Jordan and some parts of India and the Indo Gangetic plains. Regional changes in soil carbon stocks were associated with changes in precipitation, rather than temperature, with wetter areas having an increase and drier areas a decrease of carbon stocks in soils. Soil carbon stocks change (kg C m-2) 2000–2100 in four ecoregions (note the variation in scale). Source: Climate change and its impact on soil and vegetation carbon storage in Kenya, Jordan, India and Brazil. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 13. Impacts on biological diversity • The variety of life is important in agriculture • Climate change will have a variety of impacts on biological diversity, which altogether will affect how ecosystems and agriculture function The variety of life (biological diversity, or biodiversity) is also important for agriculture. Soil organisms, plants and insects play a role in agriculture. More… Directly or indirectly, climate change can produce a variety of effects on biological diversity, including fluctuations in distribution of species, range of habitat, timing of life stages and disruption in ecosystems. For agriculture this may imply, for example, changes in organisms involved in nutrient cycling; loss of crop landraces; crops maturing earlier, not surviving under new conditions or being able to grow in new areas; change in agroclimatic conditions which will modify land suitability for specific crops; shift of species in animal husbandry; movement of pests and changes in distribution of plant and animal diseases; and movement or decline of pollinators. The diversity of soil organisms and their functions. Source: Soil biodiversity and agriculture. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 14. Impacts on biological diversity Examples Potential effects on pollinators One of the most important ecosystem services for sustainable crop production is the mutualistic interaction between plants and animals, i.e. pollination. There are very few studies on impacts of climate change on pollination, but some ideas on how they can be affected include: • Further population declines; • Pole-ward expansion; • Disruption of pollination through spatial and temporal mismatch of plant flowering and pollinator activity. Source: Potential effects of climate change on crop pollination, FAO, 2011. A wasp on a fennel plant. Photo: C. Licona Manzur. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 15. Impacts on natural resources Reflections The previous pages contained a summary of what is known about the expected impacts of climate change on natural resources on which agriculture depends. At this stage we can say we only know a part of the picture and we should also rely on observations from farmers, herders, pastoralists and fisher folk. Impacts will be complex and can affect natural resources and ecosystems in different ways in different places. It is important that communities understand the implications of this potential impacts. In Module 2 you compiled a list of projections for your area. What are the impacts expected in natural resources according to these projections? Which are the most vulnerable areas? Why? Are extension services in your area aware of these risks? If not, what initiatives could you take in order to make them aware? Have you got an estimation of losses due to climate stress in the last decades? If not, where could you find it? Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 16. Impacts on crop production • Impacts on crop production will vary with latitudes and ranges of temperature increase • Extreme events may lower crop yields beyond mean climate change • Climate change might modify the quality of agricultural produce Crop productivity is projected (with medium confidence) to: • Increase slightly at mid- to high latitudes for local mean temperature increases of up to 1–3 °C, depending on the crop, and then decrease beyond that in some regions. • Decrease for even small local temperature increases (1–2 °C) at lower latitudes, especially in dry and tropical regions. These are very coarse projections that need to be checked through local studies, specially since the effect of CO2 on specific combinations of conditions and crops is still in debate. Altered frequency and intensity of weather events may lower crop yields beyond the impacts of mean climate change (e.g. damaging crops at specific growth stages, or making field management more difficult). Examples of impacts due to extreme events. Source: IPCC AR4 SYR-3. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 17. Impacts on crop production Examples Potential impacts on cereal production in China According to Chinese scientists, between 1951 and 2005 climate change advanced winter wheat maturation by 5.9 days in the north and by 10.1 days in the south. If comparing the situation between 1950–1980 and 1981–2007, the northern limits of double cropping systems have moved in Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, and Liaoning. In addition, they project that by 2030, China's overall production capacity might be reduced by 5–10% due to climate warming, with wheat, rice and corn production declining. Positive impacts include the extension of the northern boundary for winter wheat and the expansion of late-maturing varieties of corn. The spatial displacement of northern limits of winter wheat in China (1950–2007). Source: The possible effect of climate warming on northern limits of cropping system and crop yield in China, Yang et al., 2011. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 18. Impacts on crop production Examples Potential impacts on an industrial oil crop in India Future climate change scenario analysis (Boomiraj et al., 2010) showed that Indian mustard yields are likely to fall in both irrigated and rainfed conditions in India. By 2050 and 2080 (scnerario A1), yield reduction would be the highest in eastern India, followed by central India and then northern India (see figure) . Change in yields: 3 scenarios for different dates and regions. Source: Assessing the vulnerability of Indian mustard to climate change, Boomiraj et al., 2010. Indian mustard (Brassica juncea). Photo: FAO/Jon Spaull. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 19. Impacts on crop production Examples Potential impacts on apple and pear in Elgin– Villiersdorp–Vyeboom region, South Africa A study analysed the relationship between the mean full bloom dates of 3 apple and 1 pear cultivars with temperature and rainfall trends over the period 1973–2009. They found that full bloom dates were advanced on average by +1.6 days (d) per decade, associated with a mean early spring temperature increase of +0.45 °C/decade or an average of +3.6 d advance per °C rise in mean early spring temperature. Golden Delicious apples were the most sensitive (+4.2 d/°C) and Granny Smith apples the least sensitive (+2.4 d/°C).This has implications for fruit trees management in the region, as an increase in temperature of 1.5–3 °C is expected in the first half of this century. Location of the study, and trends for change in full bloom dates for Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. Source: Advance of apple and pear tree full bloom dates in response to climate change in the south- western Cape, South Africa, Grab et al., 2011. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 20. Impacts on crop production Examples Impacts on irrigated horticulture in Vale of Evesham, UK A recent study assessed the impacts of climate change on the depths of irrigation applied and on volumetric water demand in the Vale of Evesham, an area of intense outdoor horticultural production. The study showed that with climate change ‘dry’ year water demand for the existing irrigated crops in the Vale of Evesham would increase by 13–20% by the 2020s, 25–50% by the 2050s and 38–84% by the 2080s. Most impacted will be potatoes, field-scale vegetables, and small fruit production. The study did not include the expansion of cropped areas or the effects of higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Source: Climate change impacts on water for horticulture. Red chard cultivated in the Vale of Evesham, UK. Photo: Valefresco. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 21. Impacts on crop production Examples Impacts on crop pests and diseases There is evidence that climate change is altering the distribution, incidence and intensity of animal and plant pests and diseases as well as invasive and alien species. The recent emergence in several regions of multi•-virulent, aggressive strains of wheat yellow rust adapted to high temperatures is a good indication of the risks associated with pathogen adaptation to climate change. These new aggressive strains have spread at unprecedented speed on five continents resulting in epidemics in new cropping areas, previously not favourable for yellow rust and where well•adapted, resistant varieties are not yet available. The wheat disease Spot Blotch is another example, causing heavy losses in southern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and eastern India, due to a lack of resistance to the disease (FAO). Further reading on this subject can be found here.Wheat stripe rust, also known as yellow rust. Photo: USDA Agricultural Research Service. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 22. Impacts on crop quality • To date there are few studies on the impacts of climate change on crop quality, but according to those few available, high temperatures, drought and salinity have impacts on crop quality A literature review of the on the impact of abiotic environmental stress (including climate-related) on crops was carried out by Wang and Frei (2011). It considered only studies reporting data on the quality of harvested food products, covering about 50 crops (including cereals, vegetables, fruits and herbs). The analysis showed that, in general, both positive and negative effects may occur, depending on the stress: • Starch concentration, the feed value, lipids and physical/sensory traits tend to decrease. • Protein and antioxidant concentration tend to increase. • No clear trend can be detected in sugar and mineral concentration. Conceptual model of responses of crops stimulated by five types of environmental stress. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 23. Impacts on crop quality Examples Impacts on grape quality for wine making The most important effects of climate change on grape production are advanced harvesting times and increased grape sugar concentration, which leads to higher wine alcohol levels, lower acidities and a modification of varietal aroma compounds (Mira de Orduña, 2010). See also the leaflet Impacts of climate change on wine in France. Between 1976 and 2000, climate change advanced by about two weeks the harvesting dates of grapes in Syrah vineyards in Côtes du Rhône and Grenache vineyards in Côtes de Provence. Source: Bellia et al. in Global warming, which potential impacts on the vineyards? Photo: FAO/I. De Borhegyi. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 24. Impacts on livestock production • There are few studies on the impacts of climate change on livestock • Scientists expect that climate change will have impacts on animal health, growth, meat, milk and egg yields and quality Climate change may have impacts on livestock production including animal health, growth, meat, milk and eggs yield and quality. Impacts may occur due to changes in different aspects: • Quantity and quality of feeds and feeding patterns • Thermal stress, water demand and availability • Livestock diseases and disease vectors • Genetic resources, livestock genetics and breeding • Types of livestock systems • Other Impacts will depend on the vulnerability of production systems: type of livestock, local conditions and the capacity for farmers to adapt their production and take measures to reduce impacts. More… Examples of animal production systems. Photos: FAO/T. Hug, A. Youssouf, A.Conti, O. Thuillier. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 25. Impacts on livestock production Examples Impacts on small scale livestock systems Herders supply milk and meat for themselves and a large number of people. They will be among those most hurt by climate change. Many herders, having lost all their animals to droughts, are facing the end of their way of life. Examples of impacts are included in ILRI’s video Heat, rain and livestock: Impacts of climate change on Africa's livestock herders. Video, Heat, rain and livestock: Impacts of climate change on Africa’s livestock herders (click on the image). Source: International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 26. Impacts on livestock production Examples An example of impacts of climate change on livestock and products in central USA Scientists in the US developed production and response models for milk producing dairy cattle and confined beef and swine. They compared climatic conditions pre- 1986 with doubling and tripling CO2 levels (year 2040 and 2080) in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Some of the projections resulted in a reduction of around 2.2% (105.7 kg/cow) of milk output in this region, which would cost producers US$28 million annually. More…Holstein cows in a milking parlour. Photo: USDA photo center. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 27. Impacts on fish production • The productivity of marine and fresh water ecosystems is expected to decline in low latitudes and increase in high latitudes • Climate change is already affecting food webs Climate variability and change can affect the productivity or distribution of fisheries (marine and inland) in a variety of ways: • changes in water temperature and precipitation affect the dynamics of ocean currents, the flow of rivers and the area covered by wetlands. This will have effects on ecosystem structure and function and on the distribution and production of fish stocks; • increased incidence of extreme events will affect fishing operations and increase damage and disruption to coastal and riparian homes, services and infrastructure; • sea level rise, melting of glaciers at the headwaters of major rivers and other large-scale environmental changes will have effects on coastal and wetland environments and livelihoods. Potential climate impact pathways on fisheries. Sources: (click on image). Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 28. Impacts on fish production Examples Temperature will have impacts on spatial distribution of fish Wild capture fisheries are fundamentally different from other food production systems in their linkages and responses to climate change. For example, most fishing depends on wild populations whose variability depends on environmental processes governing the supply of young stock, and feeding and predation conditions through the life cycle. Open water populations cannot be enhanced by simply adding fertilizers as in agriculture, nor can effects of environmental change be quickly observed. Unlike most terrestrial animals, all aquatic animal species for human consumption are poikilothermic, meaning their body temperatures vary with the ambient temperature. Climate change-induced temperature variations will therefore have a much stronger impact on the spatial distribution of fishing and aquaculture activities and on their productivity and yields. Fishing for mackerel off the coast of Peru. Photo: FAO/T. Dioses. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 29. Impacts on fish production Examples Global analysis of the vulnerability of fisheries Allison et al. (2009) compared the vulnerability of 132 countries to potential climate change impacts on their capture fisheries using an indicator-based approach (integrating exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity). Countries in Central and Western Africa (e.g. Malawi, Guinea, Senegal, Uganda), Peru and Colombia in north- western South America and four tropical Asian countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan and Yemen) were identified as the most vulnerable. Vulnerability of national economies to potential climate change impacts on fisheries (which integrates exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity) under IPCC scenario B2 (local development, lower emissions). Source: Allison et al., 2009. Vulnerability of national economies to the impacts of climate change on fisheries. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 30. Impacts on the whole agriculture sector Reflections The Australian Bureau on Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) modelled potential impacts of climate change on agriculture in different countries. Their models assumed no adaptation and mitigation actions (and did not include climate variability). Impacts varied across economies. Percentage change in total agricultural production, by economy relative to the reference case (no planned adaptation or mitigation). Source: Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation: Insights from ABARES research, OECD-INEA-FAO Workshop on Agriculture and adaptation to Climate Change. This is an example of modelling for impacts on the whole sector. According to your UNFCCC National Communications: Which are the expected impacts at national level? What are the predictions for your region? Which are the most vulnerable sectors? Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 31. Impacts on postharvest operations • Climate variability and change will also have impacts on post-harvest operations and will force the sector to modify practices and better assess risks to avoid further post-harvest losses The quality and safety of agricultural produce (both land and water produce) depend as much on sound agricultural practices as on correct handling, storage and transportation. Climate change and variability are likely to have impacts on these operations. Currently post-harvest operations are responsible for the loss of up to 20% of agricultural produce. Climate change is likely to increase these losses if measures are not taken. Postharvest technology comprises different methods of harvesting, cleaning, packaging, rapid cooling, storing under refrigeration or modified (MA) and controlled (CA) atmospheres, and transportation under controlled conditions, among other important technologies (Madrid, 2011; FAO). Higher temperatures and disruption of infrastructure due to climate variability will create the need for ways to increase the efficiency of these operations. (More…) Scene from a sardine canning factory in Agadir, Morocco. Proper handling can reduce significant losses. Photo: FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 32. Impacts on postharvest operations Examples Potential impacts on the cold chain Refrigeration stops or reduces the rate of changes in food. A rise in average ambient temperatures could impose higher heat loads on the cold-chain: refrigeration plants would need to run for longer and use more energy; food will take longer to cool; it will be difficult to maintain cold temperatures. If the food industries’ responses to a 2– 4 °C rise in ambient temperatures were to allow a similar rise in the temperature of chilled food, then food poisoning and spoilage would increase. Source: The food cold-chain and climate change. Women transporting fish in cold boxes, Burkina Faso. Photo: FAO/A. Proto. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 33. Impacts on food safety • Climate change and variability may have an impact on the occurrence of food safety hazards at various stages of the food chain Climate change and variability may have an impact on the occurrence of food safety hazards at various stages of the food chain, from primary production through to consumption. Some potential impacts include: • Increasing microbial food contamination and associated food- borne diseases; • Increasing animal diseases and vectors of transfer of animal pathogens from animals to humans; • Modifying the patterns of fungi and mycotoxin contamination; • Increasing harmful algal blooms in coastal areas; • Increasing environmental contaminants and chemical residues in the food change; • Increasing illnesses due to food contamination in emergencies. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 34. Impacts on food safety Examples Mycotoxins in maize in Europe Maize can support different mycotoxin- producing moulds, such as F. graminearum, F. verticillioides, and A. flavus. In 2003, prolonged hot and dry weather in Europe caused an outbreak of A. flavus, with consequent problems of aflatoxin contamination (aflatoxins are extremely toxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic compounds) in forage and silage, an uncommon occurrence in Europe. Aflatoxins, produced by few species belonging to Aspergillus are expected to become more prevalent with the foreseen climate change. Source: Climate change and food safety: An emerging issue with special focus on Europe. Aspergillus flavus in maize. Photo: CIMMYT. Taken from Maize diseases: a guide for field identification . Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 35. Impacts on food security Reflections Climate change will affect all four dimensions of food security: food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and food systems stability. It will have an impact on human health, livelihood assets, food production and distribution channels, as well as changing purchasing power and market flows. From the information provided in modules 1–3: • Which are the most pressing concerns regarding agriculture and environment in your area? • Which are the most vulnerable systems? • Looking at a food chain approach, which activities are more vulnerable to climate change? Production activities, storage of agricultural products, processing of agricultural products? Food distribution? Food safety? • Are there any particular concerns regarding water availability in your area? How does it impact on distribution among different sectors? • Are there any studies on the specific impacts of climate change, on different components of the food chain? If not, which institutions could you approach to investigate potential impacts? • Is there a multidisciplinary team available to study impacts in agriculture and related sectors? • Have you thought about initiating campaigns with simple information on what is happening and could be happening to agriculture and natural resources in your area? Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production
  • 36. Resources Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production References used in this module and further reading This list contains the references used in this module. You can access the full text of some of these references through this information package or through their respective websites, by clicking on references, hyperlinks or images. In the case of material for which we cannot include the full text due to special copyrights, we provide a link to its abstract in the Internet. Institutions dealing with the issues covered in the module In this list you will find resources to identify national and international institutions that might hold information on the topics covered through out this information package. Glossary, abbreviations and acronyms In this glossary you can find the most common terms as used in the context of climate change. In addition the FAOTERM portal contains agricultural terms in different languages. Acronyms of institutions and abbreviations used throughout the package are included here.
  • 37. Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production Please select one of the following to continue: Part I - Agriculture, food security and ecosystems: current and future challenges Module 1. An introduction to current and future challenges Module 2. Climate variability and climate change Module 3. Impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems and food production Module 4. Agriculture, environment and health Part II - Addressing challenges Module 5. C-RESAP/climate-smart agriculture: technical considerations and examples of production systems Module 6. C-RESAP/climate-smart agriculture: supporting tools and policies About the information package: How to use Credits Contact us How to cite the information package C. Licona Manzur and Rhodri P. Thomas (2011). Climate resilient and environmentally sound agriculture or “climate-smart” agriculture: An information package for government authorities. Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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