Science

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The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report released last month portrayed the effects, consequences, and solutions to climate change and its effects on food security

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report last month outlining the effects of global warming on land degradation, desertification, and food security. It also reviews how unsustainable farming practices have contributed to global warming. The IPCC is the leading “world body for assessing the state of scientific knowledge related to climate change, its impacts and potential future risks, and possible response options.” The report focuses on the effects, consequences, and solutions to these issues. ~

The report states that unsustainable farming practices, such as over-tillage and monoculture farming has damaged the lands ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Warming has also been shown to increase the risk of desertification of grasslands. Roughly 500 million people are experiencing the consequences of this desertification. “New knowledge shows an increase in risks from dryland water scarcity, fire damage, permafrost degradation and food system instability, even for global warming of around 1.5°C,” said Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I. Consequently, the report states that climate change is affecting all four pillars of food security: availability, access, utilization, and stability. It also says that one-third of the world’s food is wasted.~

To combat these negative effects, the IPCC suggests communities adopt risk management strategies. Policies that encourage sustainable land use and farming are also suggested. In conclusion, this report is the culmination and summarization of research on the effect of climate change on agriculture and food security. In the future, it is believed that this report will be used by policymakers to craft policies that will contribute to the combat of climate change. In fact, the report will be used in discussions in “Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14)” in New Delhi, India in September and the “UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP25)” in Santiago, Chile, in December. ~

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