The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just issued the second instalment of its sixth assessment report. The second section of the paper discusses the effects of climate change, risks and vulnerabilities, and adaptation strategies.
In 2021, the first half of this report, on the physical science of climate change. It has previously cautioned that 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming was likely to be attained by 2040.
The third and last section of the report, which will investigate emission-cutting options, is scheduled to be released in April 2022.
Food security and climate change
- Climate change has hurt agricultural production, and droughts have been a major driver of food insecurity, according to a new assessment report (AR) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
- Droughts ate into over 454 million hectares (ha) of cropland, which forms three-quarters of the global harvested area, during 1983-2009, the report stated. The cumulative production losses corresponded to $166 billion (Rs 12.5 lakh crore), it said.
- Extreme weather led to cereal production loss of 9-10 per cent (1964-2007).
- In India, rice production may decrease 30 per cent instead of 10 per cent if global warming over pre-industrial levels rises to 4°C from 1°C, the IPCC analysis found. Maize production will decrease 70 per cent instead of 25 per cent in this scenario.
- Yield losses were higher by about 7 per cent during recent droughts (1985-2007) due to greater damage (reduced harvested area) compared to losses from earlier droughts from 1964-1984, according to the IPCC report. Losses in high-income countries were around 8-11 per cent higher than in low-income countries.
- This area of irrigated cropland provides 34 per cent of global calorie production. Such agricultural water scarcity is experienced in mostly drought-prone areas in low-income countries, the report stated.
- Evidence of floods on food production was limited, according to the report.
- The authors of the report estimated a 25 per cent yield-loss during 1961-2006. “Yield loss probability increased 22 per cent for maize, nine per cent for rice and 22 per cent for soybean under 16 drought conditions.”
- From 2006-2016, droughts contributed to food insecurity and malnutrition in northern, eastern and southern Africa, Asia and the Pacific. In 36 per cent of these nations, where severe droughts occurred and undernourishment rose, the report said.
- Fisheries, aquaculture and crop production, particularly in south and southeast Asia, may decline as a result of climate change, the report projected
- The report highlighted the impact of drought on food security but also cautioned that overall irrigation water demand would increase by 2080. Both food and the water sectors would be negatively impacted by global warming with higher risks at 2 degrees Celsius (°C) than at 1.5°C, the report said.
- Roughly, half of the world’s population currently experiences severe water scarcity for at least some part of the year due to climatic and non-climatic drivers.
- Because of its permanent effects, many consider climate change to be a significantly larger threat to humanity than Covid-19. Many of the effects, such as sea level rise and glacier melting, will last for many years.
- Given that the climate changes that have already occurred are irreversible, there is an urgent need for a substantial and rapid reduction in carbon emissions.
- Before COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, all nations, particularly the G20 and other big polluters, must join the net-zero emissions alliance and reaffirm their promises through credible, tangible, and expanded Nationally Determined Contributions and policies.
- To reduce carbon emissions, quick and far-reaching transformations in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transportation and buildings), and industrial systems are required.
- There must be a renewed emphasis on adaptation, which necessitates transformation and gradual adjustments, as well as increased funding for adaptation.
- The emphasis now has to be on how the developed world can lead and assist this shift. As a result, while immediate action is required, it must be equitable, and the burden of tackling climate change cannot rest only on the developing countries.
- Global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions must fall by around 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, with net-zero emissions attained by 2050. This is challenging, and each country would need to undergo quick and extraordinary economic transition.
- Countries must embark on huge decarbonisation efforts, while developed countries must also address consumption in their own countries.
- It would entail scaling up low-carbon technology in all carbon-intensive sectors of the economy, increasing energy efficiency, and improving carbon sinks to trap carbon globally.
How to structure
- Give an intro about the recent IPCC report
- Give the major findings of the report
- Explain how the climate change induced drought is causing food insecurity
- Suggest way forward