Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Large climate risks for African farmers: IPCC was on the right track

01.03.2011
Climate change poses severe risks to food production in many African countries. This statement of the last assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was attacked fiercely one year ago.

Critics suggested this assessment lacked scientific foundation, trying to challenge the credibility of the IPCC as a whole. But the IPCC finding has been confirmed by recent research, reported by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in the renowned US-journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“None of the agricultural regions in Africa is on the safe side,” lead-author Christoph Müller says. “This is a robust conclusion, even though we still don’t know many things as precisely as we would like to.”

The authors draw this conclusion from a review of twenty studies covering a wide range of impact projections. Under future climate and, yields may be reduced to zero or increase by 168 percent, depending on the region. The projections vary by region, crop, and time horizon of the studies. Indirect climate change effects on agriculture, like cropland inundation and erosion, are often disregarded, Müller says. “The quantitative results presented in some studies therefore seem to be rather optimistic.” Uncertainties are connected to the chosen methodologies, e.g. the extrapolation of statistical relationships into the future without considering the dynamics of the world agricultural market.

“From a risk-management perspective, the focus has to be on the most critical regions in Africa and the people affected there,” Wolfgang Cramer says, chair of PIK research domain Earth System Analysis. For parts of African agriculture, climate change could also be beneficial, because of possible increases in precipitation in arid regions and because the so-called CO2-fertilization effect could enhance plants’ productivity. In other parts, climate change will be detrimental. Overall, the damaging potential is very high.

In many cases, climate change impacts are projected for African agricultural systems that already today do not meet the local demand for food. At the same time, the potential for increasing yields is very large as agricultural productivity often suffers from inefficient management. In some countries like Angola, yields could be theoretically multiplied–according to one study. Recent research sees the restoration of soils, efficient and soil-conserving cultivation methods and integrated pest management as promising for adaptation to climate risks. Equally important is the reduction of trade barriers, including the development of roads and infrastructure.

“African Agriculture has potential for improvement,” Cramer says. “Rather than closing the eyes to imminent risks from climate change, research should now study resource-efficient ways to secure food production for the coming generations.”

Article: Müller, C., Cramer, W., Hare, W.L., Lotze-Campen, H.: Climate change risks for African agriculture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2011) [doi: 10.1073/pnas.1015078108]

For further information please contact the PIK press office:
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
E-mail: press@pik-potsdam.de

Jonas Viering | PIK Potsdam
Further information:
http://www.pik-potsdam.de
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/02/23/1015078108.abstract

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Raiding the rape field
23.05.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>