71% of food production could be at “extreme risk” by 2045

71% of food production could be at “extreme risk” by 2045

71% of food production could be at “extreme risk” by 2045

An agricultural field in Cornwall, UK
Karl Hendon / Getty Images An agricultural field in Cornwall, UK

Karl Hendon / Getty Images

Heat: “extreme” risk on 71% of food production in 2045, warns a study

CLIMATE – Heat waves already increasing under the effects of climate change could put the agricultural sector in a situation of degradation “extreme risk” by 2045 in some sixty countries representing nearly three quarters of food production, according to an analysis published on Thursday 8 September.

the “heat stress”which combines temperature levels and the difficulty of working outdoors in certain climatic conditions, has already reached this level of “extreme risk” in 20 countries, including India, a global agricultural giant, according to this study by UK-based risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft.

Future projections, based on a 2 ° C warming scenario from the pre-industrial era starting in 2045, show that by this date 64 countries, representing 71% of world food production today, would be affected by this. “extreme risk”. Among them, the largest agricultural producers – again India, but also China, Brazil and the United States.

Indian production already at “extreme risk”

“With global temperatures rising and heat stress, we will see production affected in more temperate countries”said Will Nichols, director of the climate and resilience department at Verisk Maplecroft. “There is a real fear that people in rural areas, who are heavily dependent on agriculture, will be much more exposed to these heat spikes in the future,” Will Nichols told AFP.

India, which with 12% of world food production in 2020 is the only major agricultural power already in the category “extreme risk” it is therefore extremely dependent on an abundant agricultural workforce.

The climatic extremes could therefore have consequences on productivity and indirectly affect the greater economic equilibrium of some countries, triggering crises with possible consequences on socio-political stability.

In projections to 2045, nine of the 10 countries most at risk are in Africa, including Ghana, the world’s second largest cocoa producer. Among the 20 most threatened countries are also the main rice producers in Asia, Cambodia, Thailand or Vietnam. In the latter country, many farmers are already working at night in rice fields to avoid excessive heat, the authors note.

In countries at risk but with a large surface area, such as the United States or China, regions are affected differently. Seven European countries are also among the 10 countries with the highest proportional increase in risk by 2045.

See also on L’HuffPost: Thanks to the drought, towards a “record” salt harvest in France

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