Climate Change and Food Systems
Annual Reviews, 2012
During the second half of the twentieth century, global food supply and distribution developed rapidly enough to keep abreast of population growth and, for many regions, to bring gains to food security in terms of more affordable, reliable, and safe food for all sectors of society. The last decade has seen a rapid reversal of these gains. Achieving food security in the face of accelerating food demand, competition for depleting resources, and the failing ability of the environment to buffer increasing anthropogenic impacts is now widely seen as the foremost challenge of our time. Climate change is one among a set of interconnected trends and risks facing agriculture and food systems. Other omponents of globalenvironmental change that are driving the future of food security include rapid changes in biodiversity, land cover, availability of freshwater, oceanic acidification, and the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. Future food security for all will ultimately depend onmanagement of the interacting trajectories of socioeconomic and environmental changes. Climate change, and especially increased climate variability, is, however, arguably one of the greatest challenges to food security, particularly via its effects on the livelihoods of low-income individuals and
communities,which have less capacity for adaptation and depend on highly climate-sensitive activities such as agriculture.