A United Nations report raised the threat of climate change to a whole new level on Monday, warning of sweeping consequences to life and livelihood. The report from the UN's intergovernmental panel on climate change concluded that climate change was already having effects in real time – melting sea ice and thawing permafrost in the Arctic, killing off coral reefs in the oceans, and leading to heat waves, heavy rains and mega-disasters. And the worst was yet to come. Climate change posed a threat to global food stocks, and to human security, the blockbuster report said.
The warning signs about climate change and extreme weather events have been accumulating over time. But this report struck out on relatively new ground by drawing a clear line connecting climate change to food scarcity, and conflict. The report said climate change had already cut into the global food supply. Global crop yields were beginning to decline – especially for wheat – raising doubts as to whether production could keep up with population growth. “It has now become evident in some parts of the world that the green revolution has reached a plateau,” Pachauri said. The future looks even more grim. Under some scenarios, climate change could lead to dramatic drops in global wheat production as well as reductions in maize. "Climate change is acting as a brake. We need yields to grow to meet growing demand, but already climate change is slowing those yields," said Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton professor and an author of the report.
The ACNFP is the independent group of experts who advise the Food Standards Agency on matters relating to novel food (including genetically modified, GM, food) and novel processes.
Rob Dawson's insight:
The FSA’s Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) is holding an open workshop on novel foods in London on Wednesday 20 November 2013, 1pm-4.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend, including members of the public. The closing date for applying to attend is Friday 1 November.
Plants feel pain, say scientists. Every stroke of those pruning shears could have the average shrub writhing in agony. Researchers found plants give off a gas
Rob Dawson's insight:
The research could help to work out which pieces of fruit and vegetables are likely to stay fresh longer, as a cucumber which is starting to go off produces a squealing sound. It could then be separated from the fresher ones.
With the deadline for the Longitude Prize 2014’s public vote rapidly approaching, we take a closer look at the issues it is asking you to vote on in our six-day series. Today, Tim Benton says the most urgent challenge is to provide a growing global population with a nutritious, sustainable supply of food
"Once again, there are calls to reopen the debate on genetically modified (GM) crops. I find these calls frustrating and unnecessarily decisive. In my opinion the GM debate, on both sides, continues to hamper the urgent need to address the diverse and pressing challenges of global food security and environmental sustainability. The destructive power of the debate comes from its conflation of unrelated issues, coupled with deeply rooted misconceptions of the nature of agriculture."
Crop researchers will aim to improve wheat yields by 50 percent by 2034 to feed a growing world population, according to an announcement at a summit to mark Nobel Peace Prize-laureate Norman Borlaug’s birth.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Instability in Egypt and Iranian threats to block the Strait of Hormuz are serious risks to food security in the Gulf, according to a report by a British think tank.The Gulf Cooperation...
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