Changing climate imperils global food and water supplies, new U. N. study finds
Agriculture and other land use accounts for 23 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
By Brady Dennis
August 8 at 11:00 AM
The world cannot avoid the worst impacts of climate change without making serious changes to the ways humans grow food, raise livestock and manage forests, according to a landmark study Thursday from an international group of scientists.
The sprawling report from the U. N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) examines how land use around the world contributes to the warming of Earth’s atmosphere. But the report also details how climate change is already threatening food and water supplies for humans: turning arable land to desert; degrading soil; and increasing the threat of droughts, floods and other extreme weather that can wreak havoc on crops.
It makes clear that although fossil fuel-burning power plants and automobile tailpipes are the largest drivers of climate change, activities such as agriculture and forestry account for an estimated 23 percent of total human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
“We already knew that humanity’s over-exploitation of the Earth’s lands is a key driver of climate change, and that we need to take urgent, ambitious action to address these issues, ” Jennifer Tabola, director for global climate strategy at the Nature Conservancy, said in a statement. “We have a choice: do we balance the needs of human development and nature, or do we sleepwalk into a future of failing farmlands, eroding soil, collapsing ecosystems and dwindling food resources? ”
https://www.washingtonp ... n&wpmm=1