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 Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>