Global Food Security in a Changing Climate: Considerations and Projections

Friday, 18 December 2015: 13:40
3001 (Moscone West)
Margaret K Walsh, Climate Change Program Office, USDA, Washington, DC, United States, Molly Elizabeth Brown, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, United States, Peter Backlund, Colorado State University, School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Fort Collins, CO, United States, John Michael Antle, Oregon State University, Applied Economics, Corvallis, OR, United States, Edward R Carr, Clark University, Worcester, MA, United States, William E Easterling, Pennsylvania State University Main Campus, University Park, PA, United States, Chris C Funk, University of California Santa Barbara, Geography, Santa Barbara, CA, United States, Anthony Murray, USDA Washington DC, Economic Research Service, Washington, DC, United States, Moffat Ngugi, USAID, Washington, DC, United States, Christopher B Barrett, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States, John S.I. Ingram, Oxford University, Environmental Change Institute, Oxford, United Kingdom, Violet Dancheck, US Agency for International Development, Falls Church, VA, United States, Brian C O'Neill, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States, Claudia Tebaldi, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, Boulder, CO, United States, Tawny Mata, USDA Washington DC, Washington, DC, United States, Dennis S Ojima, Colorado State University, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Fort Collins, CO, United States, Kathryn Grace, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States, Hui Jiang, USDA, Foreign Agriculture Service, Washington, DC, United States, Marc Bellemare, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, United States, Witsanu Attavanich, Kasetsart University, Department of Economics, Bangkok, Thailand, Caspar M. Ammann, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States and Hector Maletta, Universidad del Pacifico, Lima, Peru
Global food security is an elusive challenge and important policy focus from the community to the globe. Food is provisioned through food systems that may be simple or labyrinthine, yet each has vulnerabilities to climate change through its effects on food production, transportation, storage, and other integral food system activities. At the same time, the future of food systems is sensitive to socioeconomic trajectories determined by choices made outside of the food system, itself. Constrictions for any reason can lead to decreased food availability, access, utilization, or stability – that is, to diminished food security. Possible changes in trade and other U.S. relationships to the rest of the world under changing conditions to the end of the century are considered through integrated assessment modelling under a range of emissions scenarios.

Climate change is likely to diminish continued progress on global food security through production disruptions leading to local availability limitations and price increases, interrupted transport conduits, and diminished food safety, among other causes. In the near term, some high-latitude production export regions may benefit from changes in climate.

The types and price of food imports is likely to change, as are export demands, affecting U.S. consumers and producers. Demands placed on foreign assistance programs may increase, as may demand for advanced technologies.

Adaptation across the food system has great potential to manage climate change effects on food security, and the complexity of the food system offers multiple potential points of intervention for decision makers at every level. However, effective adaptation is subject to highly localized conditions and socioeconomic factors, and the technical feasibility of an adaptive intervention is not necessarily a guarantee of its application if it is unaffordable or does not provide benefits within a relatively short time frame.