Tag Archives: Climate Change

IPCC Report: Climate Change and Land

Headline : Food supply is at dire risk: UN

Details :

In News

  • IPCC has released a new report on Climate Change and Land. It is the second in the series of three special reports that the IPCC is preparing during the current Sixth Assessment Report cycle.
  • This is the first IPCC report in which a majority of the authors (53%) are from developing countries.

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News Summary

  • The IPCC has released the summary of its report “Climate Change and Land: An IPCC Special Report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems” to the policymakers.
  • It is an assessment of how land systems are contributing to global warming, and are in turn being impacted by the resultant climate change.
  • The report looks at the role of land-based activities such as agriculture, forestry, cattle-rearing and urbanisation in causing global warming, and also the manner in which they are impacted by climate change.

Report Findings

Land – a critical resource

  • Land provides the principal basis for human livelihoods and well-being including the supply of food, freshwater and multiple other ecosystem services, as well as biodiversity.
  • Human use directly affects more than 70% of the global, ice-free land surface (high confidence). Land also plays an important role in the climate system.
  • Land is both a source and a sink of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and plays a key role in the exchange of energy, water and aerosols between the land surface and atmosphere.

Impact

  • The report says the global food production system could account for 16 to 27 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • If outside the “farm gate” activities such as transportation, energy and food processing industries are included, emissions from global activities that put the food on our table could account for as high as 37 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions.
  • If emissions associated with pre- and post-production activities in the global food system are included, the emissions are estimated to be 21 to 37 per cent of total net anthropogenic (man-made) GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.

Desertification and land degradation

  • When land is degraded, it becomes less productive, restricting what can be grown and reducing the soil’s ability to absorb carbon.
  • This exacerbates climate change, while climate change in turn exacerbates land degradation in many different ways.
  • In a future with more intensive rainfall the risk of soil erosion on croplands increases.
  • Sustainable land management is a way to protect communities from the detrimental impacts of this soil erosion and landslides. However there are limits to what can be done, so in other cases degradation might be irreversible

Food security

  • The report highlights that climate change is affecting all four pillars of food security: availability (yield and production), access (prices and ability to obtain food), utilization (nutrition and cooking), and stability (disruptions to availability).
  • Food security will be increasingly affected by future climate change through yield declines – especially in the tropics – increased prices, reduced nutrient quality, and supply chain disruptions,”
  • The effects are different in different countries, but there will be more drastic impacts on low-income countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean

 

Measures needed for improvement:

  • Food wastage: The report records that about one third of food produced is lost or wasted. Measures such as reduction in food wastage can avoid a part of these emissions without jeopardising food security.
  • Risk management: Risk management can enhance communities’ resilience to extreme events, which has an impact on food systems. This can be the result of dietary changes or ensuring a variety of crops to prevent further land degradation and increase resilience to extreme or varying weather.
  • Reducing inequities: Reducing inequalities, improving incomes, and ensuring equitable access to food so that some regions (where land cannot provide adequate food) are not disadvantaged, are other ways to adapt to the negative effects of climate change.
  • Sustainability: An overall focus on sustainability coupled with early action offers the best chances to tackle climate change. This would entail sustainable agricultural practices, low population growth and improved nutrition.
  • Bioenergy management: Bioenergy needs to be carefully managed to avoid risks to food security, biodiversity and land degradation. Desirable outcomes will depend on locally appropriate policies and governance systems.

 

Steps beyond land management

  • The report shows that better land management can contribute to tackling climate change, but is not the only solution.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors is essential if global warming is to be kept to well below 2ºC, if not 1.5o
  • Policies that are outside the land and energy domains, such as on transport and environment, can also make a critical difference to tackling climate change. Acting early is more cost-effective as it avoids losses.

 

About: IPCC

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change.
  • It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988.
  • In the same year, the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by the WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC. It has 195 member states.
  • It intends to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Reports

  • IPCC assessments provide governments, at all levels, with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. They are a key input into the international negotiations to tackle climate change.
  • IPCC reports are drafted and reviewed in several stages, thus guaranteeing objectivity and transparency.
Section : Environment & Ecology

About: Climate Risk Index (CRI)

About: Climate Risk Index (CRI)

  • The global CRI, analyses impacts of extreme weather events – both in terms of the fatalities (deaths) as well as the economic losses.
  • However, the index does not consider slow-onset events like rising sea levels, glacier melting or ocean warming and acidification.
  • The index is based on data from the Munich Re NatCatSERVICE11, which is considered worldwide as one of the most reliable and complete databases on this issue.
  • In addition to this, the index uses the socio-economic data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • The most recent data available for 2019 and data from 2000 to 2019 was taken into account for CRI 2021.

Global Climate Risk Index 2021

Global findings:

  • As per the index, the top six most vulnerable countries in 2019 were Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Bahamas, Japan, Malawi and Afghanistan.
  • Vulnerable people in developing countries suffered the most from extreme weather events like storms, floods and heat waves.
  • The index highlighted that both the number of severe tropical cyclones and their severity will increase with every one-tenth (1/10th) of a degree increase in global average temperature.
  • Eight of the ten countries most affected between 2000 and 2019 are developing countries with low or lower middle income per capita.
  • Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti were the top three most affected countries during the 20-year period.
  • Between 2000 and 2019, over 475,000 people lost their lives as a direct result of more than 11,000 extreme weather events globally and losses amounted to around US $2.56 trillion.
  • The index also highlighted, that international climate financing to address these issues has remained inadequate.

Findings from India

  • India topped the list in terms of having highest number of fatalities (2,267) and the biggest economic loss (68,812 million USD) in 2019.
  • However, India’s overall CRI ranking in 2019 was at number seven, due to low fatalities per one lakh of inhabitants and losses per unit of GDP. In the long-term CRI accounting for effects from 2000-2019, India ranked at number 20.
  • In 2019, monsoon in India continued for a month longer than usual, with the surplus rain causing major hardships.
  • The floods caused by the heavy rains were responsible for 1, 800 deaths across 14 states and led to the displacement of 1.8 million people.
  • Overall, 8 million people were affected by the intense monsoon season with the economic damage estimated to be US$ 10 billion.

Issues in India

  • India has many different ecologies — glaciers, high mountains, long coastlines as well as massive semi-arid regions which are the hotspots for climate change.
  • Global warming is leading to an increase in the frequency of cyclones, the melting of glaciers at much faster rates, and heatwaves. In 2019, there were eight tropical cyclones in India. Six of the eight cyclones intensified to become very severe.
  • Moreover, majority of the Indian population is dependent on agriculture, which is being severely affected by the impacts of climate change. However, efforts to deal climate change in India are still inadequate.
  • A national adaptation plan was prepared in 2008 followed by state action plans. However, most of the plans lack resources so that they can be integrated into the district development and disaster risk reduction plan.
  • Thus, the government must urgently develop state\ district specific climate-risk maps to to understand which areas need more focus.