The Geography of Climate Challenges and Solutions for National Food Systems

Steven Gaines1, Christopher Free1, Reniel Cabral1, Elena Ojea2 and Tracey Mangin1, (1)University of California Santa Barbara, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, Santa Barbara, CA, United States, (2)University of Vigo, Future Oceans Lab, Ourense, Spain
A wide range of studies have explored the projected impacts of climate change on different aspects of land and ocean based food systems. In every case, the average global impacts provide an inadequate picture of the responses expected in different countries. The challenge is the enormous variability in responses across locations. The global average is typically modest, because large regions with projected major declines are offset by large regions with project major gains. Within any part of the food system, there are often predictable geographies of these winners and losers with respect to potential food production, but the similarities in these geographical patterns across different parts of the global food system have been inadequately explored. Here we present new country level analyses for projected changes in ocean components of the food system (wild fisheries and aquaculture) that can be compared to projections for land based agriculture and to country level projections for future demand for food. We explore the synergistic impacts of climate change across all these sectors and identify countries vulnerable to universally negative impacts versus countries with opportunities to offset negative impacts in some sectors through adaptation or potentially positive impacts in other sectors. The results suggest a variety of recommendations for effectively and equitably meeting the looming food security challenges of climate change.