A double roundup this week! On Fridays, we bring you the climate change stories that sparked our attention during the week, many of which have significant implications for agriculture and food security.
While many agricultural activities produce greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and clearing land through slash-and-burn may be the worst culprit. When farmers expand into forested lands, trees that might store carbon for decades to come are lost and large amounts of carbon are released into the atmosphere. Yet agricultural expansion into forests is inevitable when poor farmers across the tropics lack sufficient access to land or opportunities to boost productivity on their current landholdings. They must seek new areas to plant their crops, including cocoa. Read more »
In order to arm themselves against climate shocks, farmers need better access to seasonal climate forecasts. Particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where up to 70 percent of farmers depend on rain-fed agriculture, weather information is an essential adaptation tool. New research from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) finds that it's now possible to predict climate conditions in advance of planting seasons in most parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.... but the information is still not getting to farmers. Read more »
One of the challenges for governments in planning for climate change, particularly in agriculture and food security, is the lack of information on what changes are expected for a particular area, and when these changes may occur. This is partly because climate data, tools and models often cover large areas (such as entire countries or regions), and time scales that don’t fit into the short-term outlooks of most policymakers. Scaling data, tools and models down to suit decision-makers' needs is an important first step for the CCAFS program, and will help make the existing wealth of climate information more accessible to a range of users.
This week, Australia's national science agency (CSIRO) released Climate Change: Science and Solutions for Australia , a comprehensive synthesis of how climate change is already impacting Australia, what further changes can be expected, and options for dealing with those changes.
This year, forests remain on the climate change agenda, building on several years of policy progress for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) as well as the current International Year of Forests. Attention is also growing on how agriculture can reduce emissions, as well as its fundamental role in ensuring climate adaptation in most of the world. With these developments, it is easy to overlook the ‘in-between’ issues of trees in agricultural landscapes. Agroforestry and the deliberate use of trees was framed over 30 years ago as an alternative to ‘open field’ agriculture as the major pathway for intensification, as well as recognizing the roles farmers play in domesticating forests. Read more »
What are the future “hotspots” where climate change is likely to make food insecurity more severe and therefore increase vulnerability? On March 15, 2011 the CCAFS researchers based in Nairobi held a seminar at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to present and discuss preliminary findings of the CCAFS-funded work on mapping the hotspots of climate change and food insecurity across the global tropics. The seminar was co-presented by ILRI scientists Polly Ericksen, Philip Thornton and An Notenbaert and attended by over 30 CGIAR scientists.
Among the global ripples from Japan’s recent earthquake has been a surge in investment in renewable energy. No doubt the backlash against nuclear power will pass, but the response is typical of the human tendency to act on long-term challenges only when provoked by crisis. Are we adapting to climate change? by Lea Berrang-Ford, James Ford and Jaclyn Paterson, shows how extreme events are key stimuli for real actions on adaptation to climate change. In agriculture, floods and droughts in particular, but more generally to increasing variability in precipitation, motivate deliberate adaptations towards current and future climate change. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)