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Publication | 14 December 2020

The impact of climate variability and extremes on agriculture and food security - An analysis of the evidence and case studies

Global climate studies show that not only temperatures are increasing and precipitation levels are becoming more varied, all projections indicate these trends will continue. This study presents new analysis on the impact of changing climate on agriculture and food security. It shows that more countries are exposed to increasing climate variability and extremes and the frequency (number of years exposed in a five-year period) and intensity (number of types of climate extremes in a five-year period) of exposure over agricultural areas have increased.

The findings of this study are compelling and bring urgency to the fact that climate variability and extremes are proliferating and intensifying and are contributing to a rise in global hunger. The world’s 2.5 billion small-scale farmers, herders, fishers and forest-dependent people, who derive their food and income from renewable natural resources, are most at risk and affected. Actions to strengthen the resilience of livelihoods and food systems to climate variability and extremes urgently need to be scaled up and accelerated.

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