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Global Warming and Food Security

Free Essays / Environment / Global Warming and Food Security
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Introduction

Global warming is one of the greatest fears of the 21st century. The fears are visible in the sense that the Millennium Development Goals address environmental sustainability as one of the factors that can reduce its effects. The United Nations has come out to warn about a looming food crisis as from 2013, and this is an imminent threat to food security (Vidal, 2012). Over the past decades, various scholars, scientists, governments, and policy makers across the world have raised concerns over the adverse effects that globalization may have on food security. In addition, societies today are more concerned about how they will go about sustaining the environment and ensuring that the future generations do not face the consequences of our own mistakes. Global warming is a serious concern since the future depends on the environment that is less polluted, that has ample food supply, and can sustain the present and future generations. This explains why globalization has received this attention and why researching about the topic is relevant in order to enhance food security in the 21st century. This research paper will look into the aspects of global warming and address the fears that the present generation has in terms of food security.

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Definitions

Global warming is the increase in the world temperatures, and it largely contributes to the changes in the observed global pattern of climate. Global warming occurs as a result of natural and human cause (TriTown Media, n.d.). It can also mean the warming of the Earth because of the rise in emissions of greenhouse gases. On the other hand, food security relates to the people’s ability to find food by their own means so that they can have an active and healthy lifestyle at the same time supporting those who do not have the means to provide food resources (FAO, 2008). The effects of climate change are likely to affect the four basic food security areas. The effects will be on the availability of food, food accessibility, food utilization, and the stability of food systems. At the same time, the impact of global warming and climate change will have serious consequences for livelihood assets, human health, food production and its distribution channels as well as the purchasing power and market flows (FAO, 2008).

The Relationship between Food Security and Global Warming

Today, people continue to be food insecure and vulnerable; with global warming, they are likely to face more adverse effects of climate change and globalization. For instance, the current livelihood agriculture-based systems are susceptible to food insecurity. The effects of climate change shall add to the pressing risks that emanate from failures in crop production, arising patterns of diseases and pests, loss of livestock, and inadequate planting material and seeds (FAO, 2008). The climatic changes have a direct impact on agricultural production, which in turn influences the food security of nations.

The present initiatives that aim at identifying solutions to the current food insecurity problems are available in the Millennium Development Goal 1. This goal specifically tries to mitigate the challenges that the current food system is facing. At the same time, it focuses on how to help the rural populations to cope with the immediate risks that global warming and climate change is causing. The current efforts that have been put to curb the challenges of global warming include the development of clean technology, the use of alternative sources of energy, education on the effects and how to tackle them, and support of lifestyles that can reduce the effects of global warming (TriTown Media, n.d.). Sustainable agricultural practices will be achievable if the governments put across measures that can eliminate the effects of climate change. The call for acclimatization and adaptation as some of the mitigation measures for climate change aims at reducing risks to people and their livelihoods (FAO, 2008). Thus, climate change mitigation policies that governments employ include reducing emission of greenhouse gases and developing the choices that will lead to the reduction of emission in the long run.

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Agriculture plays a significant role in food security as it is responsible for the production of food that people eat and also provides the elemental livelihood source. If climate change affects agricultural production in the developing countries across Africa and Asia, the livelihoods of people will be at risk, and the vulnerability to food insecurity would be increased (FAO, 2008). Various reports indicate that by the year 2020, rain fed agricultural lands will reduce by 50 percent in several African countries (Godden, 2008). At the same time, it means that irrigation practices in the world will increase, and this will affect food production. Food security relies on agricultural production that is sensitive to climate change.

The most pressing concerns of global warming are the effects it has on several countries across the world. Today, food production in the United States has gone down due to droughts. In addition, China is facing some of the most adverse effects of global warming. If this remains uncontrolled, there shall be pervasive consequences to the current food situation across the developed and developing world. Global warming has posed threats on China’s match to success. The effects of global warming had an impact on crop production; it has led to shrinking of rivers and has unleashed more floods and droughts in China. Thus, global warming effects in China will spread out to the entire world.

The whole world is likely to face grim environmental and ecological concerns; under the impact and effects of global warming, it is likely to worsen the prosperity of the current and future generation’s environmental sustainability. This is likely to make the Millennium Development Goal 7 of environmental sustainability a pipe dream. Other reports of the impact of global warming on food security indicate that it has negatively affected developing countries. At the same time, these countries rely on food to sustain their burgeoning population; if this continues, hunger and malnutrition will become a constant problem in many countries.
The global supply of food is declining with the onset of global warming. Various countries continue to report that they will not meet their estimated supply of food. Subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa grow maize for animals and their families. With globalization, they are likely to face more adverse effects of global warming. In addition, many poor nations will find it hard to cope with drought and global warming on their population's livelihoods. This is even worse since more than 170 million people in Africa depend on maize. As global warming leads to drought, the farmers remain at risk. Various maize producing countries like Tanzania, Nigeria, Brazil, and South Africa have lost an estimated 20 to 30 percent of their production (Hoff, 2003). At present, the effects of the drought in the United States have led to a considerable reduction in the estimates of corn production. Vidal (2012) reports that the United State hold maize reserves that are 6.5 percent lower than the expected consumption levels of 2013. This is the same case for countries such as Ukraine. Thus, the countries that continue to rely on maize are likely to face the pervasive effect of global warming. This is connected with less production of maize for their families and farm animals. In Africa, animals drive rural economies, and if they do not get adequate food, it means that people will get less milk, meat leading to hunger in households (Hoff, 2003).

The other notable challenges of global warming concern habitat destruction. This is because the resilience of the ecosystems is going to change as a result of global warming and climate change. The associated global environmental disturbances such as flooding, wildfires, insects, drought, ocean acidification, pollution, and over-exploitation of natural resources will have impact on the structure of the ecosystem. This will have pervasive consequences for biodiversity, water and food supply. The supply of food is likely to diminish with the rising environmental changes (IPCC, 2007). The impact of climate change on food production will affect food supply at local and international levels. For instance, high temperatures will affect production of food in tropics. This is the same case for lower latitudes where global warming has led to the increase of temperatures by approximately 1 to 2°C. This will increase the risk of hunger in the world. The impact of global warming on health will emanate from malnutrition, increased death cases due to diseases, and injuries that arise out of the extreme weather conditions. At the same time, the health of people will be affected by cardio-respiratory diseases due to the increase in the concentration of ground-level ozone in the major urban areas (IPCC, 2007).

Conclusion

Global warming provides a foundation for the sustainability of food production and future generations. Global warming will shape individuals’ health and food patterns across the globe. In conclusion, food security and global warming are highly interrelated. The impact of global warming on agricultural production in turn affects food security. The effects will go further to affect peoples’ health as it largely depends on food. It is clear that with food insecurity, people will face serious problems connected with their livelihoods and health patterns. For instance, the productivity of cereals will reduce accentuating food insecurity in many regions.

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