Saturday, January 21, 2012

Better scientific understanding of link between climate change, food security needed

Mariaan Webb in Creamer's Engineering News (South Africa): Scientists should increasingly make critical contributions to ensure food security and environmental sustainability, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) systems ecologist Dr Bob Scholes said on Friday, adding that there was a need to better understand the link between climate change and food production.

More attention should be given to developing agricultural practices that can deliver multiple benefits, such as feeding nine-billion people by 2050, while reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, he said. Writing in the January 20 issue of the journal Science, Scholes and coauthors, many also members of the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change, urged scientists to lay the groundwork for more decisive action on global food security in the context of international environmental negotiations in 2012.

“There are clearly significant opportunities during this year for scientists to provide the evidence required to quickly generate new investments and policies that would ensure that agriculture can adapt to the impact of climate change – and in ways that mitigate production of greenhouse gas emissions,” Scholes said.

...Meanwhile, the world is already outside a safe operating space with respect to agriculture, climate change, and food security. “To mobilise increased investment, scientists must document ways that farmers, industry, consumers and government can move toward, expand or shift the safe space and achieve multiple benefits from sustainable farming practices,” the paper stated....

A 1943 poster created by the U.S. government Office for Emergency Management, Office of War Information, Domestic Operations Branch. Bureau of Special Services

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