Impacts of global climate change on food production and agricultural water use
Project Title: A spatial explicit assessment of current and future hotspots of hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa in the context of global change
Collaborating GEO-BENE partners: Eawag (leader), IIASA, VU University Amsterdam, Bundesanstalt for Geowissenschafen und Rohstoffe, IFPRI
Freeing people from hunger will require more and better-targeted investments, innovations, and policy actions, driven by a keen understanding of the dynamics, risks and forces that shape the factors affecting people's access to food and the links with nutrition. The national analysis of food security, as most commonly encountered in discussions of hunger and malnutrition in SSA, does not reflect the considerable variation in the food security condition of households within a particular country. Undertaking a spatially explicit assessment allows us to determine how much actual access individuals have to available food, and a closer insight can be gained into what actually might cause their food insecurity, what sort of actions might need to be taken, and where this action should be taken to reduce food insecurity.
Historical monthly data on maximum temperature, minimum temperature, precipitation and wet days between 1990 and 1999 were obtained with a spatial resolution of 30 arc-minute from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (CRU TS2.1). A MOnthly to DAily WEather Converter (MODAWEC) model is used to generate the daily weather data. The future monthly climate data on maximum temperature, minimum temperature, precipitation and wet days between 2030 and 2039 are obtained with the same resolution from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research of the University of East Anglia (TYN SC 2.0). For the TYN SC 2.0 dataset, runs of the HadCM3 model (Gordon et al., 2000; Pope et al., 2000) for four scenarios are used: A1FI, A2, B1 and B2. The future daily climate data are generated with the MODAWEC model. The CO2 concentrations in different scenarios are obtained from the ISAM model (reference) from the IPCC climate change report (IPCC, 2001). Soil parameters of soil depth, percent sand and silt, bulk density, pH, and organic carbon content are obtained from Batjes (2006). Soil parameters are available for 5 soil layers (0–20, 20–40, 40–60, 60–80, 80–100 cm).
Impacts of climate change on crop yield of six major crops in SSA are simulated with the GEPIC model. Undernutrition is estimated based on the anthropometric data on weight and length of individuals as reported by the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). Future hotspots of hunger are identified based on current hunger hotspots, impacts of climate change on food production, population growth and GDP.
The results show that some regions in northern and southwestern Nigeria, Sudan and Angola with a currently high number of people with undernutrition might be able to improve their food security situation mainly through increasing purchasing power. In the near future, regions located in Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, southwestern Niger, and Madagascar are likely to remain hotspots of food insecurity, while regions located in Tanzania, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo might face more serious undernutrition. It is likely that both the groups of regions will suffer from lower capacity of importing food as undernutrition. It is likely that both the groups of regions will suffer from lower capacity of importing food as well as lower per capita calorie availability, while the latter group will probably have sharper reduction in per capita calorie availability. Special attention must be paid to the hotspot areas in order to meet the hunger alleviation goals in SSA.
A paper has been published in Global and Planetary Change.
Liu J., Fritz S., van Wesenbeeck C.F.A., Fuchs M., Obersteiner M., Yang H., 2008. A spatial explicit assessment of current and future hotspots of hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa in the context of global change. Global and Planetary Change.64 (3-4): 222-235.
Figure: Number of people with current undernoutrition problems in relation to future potential hotspots of food insecurity in the 2030s