According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, extreme climatic conditions threaten food security in South Asia. The UN body’s report claims that the increasing threat of flooding and drought will make India and Pakistan among the most vulnerable to climate change.
The second installment of the IPCC Working Group II report, entitled ‘Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’, looked at the climate-related risks to agriculture and food systems in Asia. The report states that the risks will gradually increase with the changing climate and will have different effects across the region.
“In South Asia, for example, extreme climatic conditions threaten food security, making agro-economy such as India and Pakistan the most vulnerable to climate change in this regard,” the report said.
With emissions rising, 11 Indian states of Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab will be hardest hit. If emissions continue to increase, all Indian states may have regions with temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius or more.
The UN report warned that with current emissions reductions promised, many parts of northern and coastal India could reach extremely dangerous wet-bulb temperatures of more than 31 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
The main expected impacts of climate change in the agriculture and food sectors, according to the report, include a decline in fisheries, aquaculture and crop production, particularly in South and Southeast Asia.
The IPCC report predicted that rice production in India could fall from 10 to 30 percent, while maize production could fall by 25 to 70 percent. This is based on the assumption that there will be a range of temperature rise from 1 degree to 4 degrees Celsius.
The report also states that the international food supply is also under threat and that the risks of widespread crop failure would increase if emissions are not reduced quickly.
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