WASHINGTON, March 31, 2014 -- A report released by a Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change(NIPCC) work group says rising temperatures are having a greater negative impact on crop yields globally than positive.
Without adaptation, major crops, including corn, rice and wheat in tropical and temperate regions are projected to see reduced production as local temperatures climb 2 degrees Celsius or more above late 20th century levels.
"Projected impacts vary across crops and regions and adaptation scenarios, with about 10 percent of projections for the period 2030-2049 showing yield gains of more than 10 percent, and about 10 percent of projections showing yield losses of more than 25 percent," the report states.
The report details the effects of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks. More than 300 coordinating lead authors and review editors, drawn from 70 countries, were selected to produce the report. They enlisted the help of 436 contributing authors, and a total of 1,729 expert and government reviewers.
The report is the second of three Work Group products that will be synthesized into a final overall assessment ‑ the fifth since the NIPCC was created in 1988 ‑ due in October. The last IPCC assessment was issued in 2007.
Rural areas will continue to experience a wide range of setbacks from a changing climate, the report says.
“Major future rural impacts are expected in the near-term and beyond through impacts on water availability and supply, food security, and agricultural incomes, including shifts in production areas of food and non-food crops across the world,” says the report from the IPCC Work Group II, “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.”
“These impacts are expected to disproportionately affect the welfare of the poor in rural areas,” the report states, citing those with limited access to land, modern agricultural inputs, infrastructure and education.
However, the report does say that further adaptations for agriculture, water, forestry and biodiversity can be facilitated by government policies that take into account rural needs.
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