Home News University of Exeter-led researchers find link between food insecurity and climate change

University of Exeter-led researchers find link between food insecurity and climate change

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Image: Jeff Schmaltz via NASA

A team, led by University of Exeter researchers, has found evidence of a link between climate change and a lack of access to ‘affordable, nutritious food.’ The study observed data taken from 122 ‘developing and least-developed countries’, and came to the conclusion that countries which experience global warming of 2°C would suffer worse food insecurity than if the change was kept at 1.5°C.

Chair of Climate Impacts at the University, Professor Richard Betts, has stated that ‘climate change is expected to lead to more extremes of both heavy rainfall and drought’. The study found that extreme wet conditions in South and East Asia could increase the flow of the River Ganges by more than double at 2°C; drought conditions, at 2°C, could see up to a 25% decline in the flow of the Amazon river. What these extreme weather conditions mean is that agriculture, and therefore access to food, could be seriously harmed if global warming reaches 2°C.

“climate change is expected to lead to more extremes of both heavy rainfall and drought”

Professor Betts admits that a change is ‘already unavoidable’, but that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would minimise vulnerability for around 76% of developing countries. The paper was published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A under the title of “Changes in climate extremes, fresh water availability and vulnerability to food insecurity projected at 1.5°C and 2°C global warming with a higher-resolution global climate model.”

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Online News Editor for Exeposé, Station Manager for XpressionFM.