A task force made up of American and British experts set the alarm bells ringing with a new report on the chances of food shortages and dramatic price spikes tripling by 2040.
The Global Food Security program blames the climate change with its ever-growing extreme weather for the dark predictions we’re facing. They explain that the risk of a “production shock” is estimated to increase from occurring once a century to happening every 30 years. Floods and droughts negatively impacting the farming processes are usually the cause for these irregularities.
Tim Benton is the UK Champion for Global Food Security, and also the ambassador and spokesperson for the nation’s food security matters. He explained that climate changes will be most visible through the increasing rate of occurrence for ultimate weather events – referencing heat waves, floods and droughts – and through the impact they will have on producing and distributing food.
Even though the food system is something we currently take for granted, Benton warns in the study that extreme weather is an influent factor that could bring drastic changes in the near future. Besides pointing out the negative potential outcomes, the research also comes up with series of suggestions for a better policy and business plan.
What’s needed the most right now, he added, is governments that come together and find ways to improve the endurance of the international food system in the face of weather-related shocks.
This is not the first report to link climate changes to trouble in the food system, but it is the first to make such ominous predictions for the next several decades.
An increasing demand will put a heavy strain on the global food resources by 2050 – 60 percent more than the current status – and the main reason will be the population expansion and the great number of people that will escape poverty and move to the middle class.
The United Nations itself has issued a warning on the effects of a warmer planet – food prices will go higher, famine episodes will spurt among the globe’s poorest people and fine wine or other delicacies will become scarce in supply.
But finding delicacies won’t be the highest priority. According to several scientific studies, greenhouse gas emission mostly will eventually decrease the availability of some basic vegetables and fruits. Not only that, but climate change might also lead to food losing taste and crops becoming less nutritious.
The task force also warned that one of the greatest vulnerabilities of the current global food system is the fact that there are only a handful of countries who produce food crops on a major scale – which means that a local shock will affect more countries that rely on them to provide for basic products, like wheat.
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