News / Africa

    Glimpsing the Future on Climate Change

    By 2030, scientists predict Durban, South Africa will have a climate very similar to that of Argentina and Uruguay. The South American countries have already adapted to growing food at higher temperatures.
    By 2030, scientists predict Durban, South Africa will have a climate very similar to that of Argentina and Uruguay. The South American countries have already adapted to growing food at higher temperatures.
    Joe DeCapua

    There have been many warnings that climate change could make it more difficult to grow food. But a new tool may allow farmers to glimpse the future and prepare for what lies ahead.

    Scientists say climate change may significantly alter growing conditions for most farmers. But that doesn’t mean those conditions will be unknown or unexpected. They say there are plenty of examples of how farmers have already adapted to higher temperatures.

    Researchers at the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change have released a report called: Climate Analogues – Finding Tomorrow’s Agriculture Today.

    “Climate analogues are a way of finding the future today. We talk about how climate will change and it’s quite an abstract idea to say, well, this place will be two degrees warmer. But these climate analogues are an interesting way of actually seeing what that really feels like. So, you can find the future of a site when temperature is higher, for example, or precipitation is different, and you can find that today somewhere else,” said Dr. Andy Jarvis of CGIAR.

    It will be here like it is there

    For example, researchers studied temperature changes projected to occur by 2030 for Shanghai, China, and Los Angeles, California and Durban, South Africa, site of the latest U.N. climate change conference.

    “If you look for Durban’s 2030 climate, you can actually find quite a large area that has very similar climates to what we project for 2030 for Durban in Argentina and Uruguay,” said Jarvis.

    That information could be very valuable to farmers.

    “Durban, for example, has a lot of very high productivity sugar cane around it. There are also a lot of farmers who depend on maize for subsistence. And so you can go to Argentina and Uruguay where they have established sugar cane and established maize crops and understand really what is it that they’re doing that makes them well adapted to their climate. And so that knowledge can then feed into farmers in Durban and help them adapt,” he said.

    The climate analogues say that the soybean growing area near Shanghai will correspond to major soybean areas in the eastern United States, Argentina and South Africa.

    The information can be used to help ensure food security, especially with the population expected to soar in the coming decades.

    “You have climate change affecting our ability to produce food, but at the same time population [is] on the increase. We just went past 7 billion. Projections for 9 billion in 2050. It’s not just population increase, but it’s changing consumer patterns, as well. So, the consumption of milk and meat, for example, is on the increase in countries like China. So that’s putting tremendous demands on the food system,” he said.

    Farmers need to adapt

    Jarvis said there are no magic solutions to climate change, so governments need to reach a legally binding agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. However, Jarvis says that’s not enough. Farmers need to adapt, especially smallholder farmers.

    “Smallholder poor farmers in Africa are those that are most vulnerable. They have [the] least capacity to adapt. Ironically, they’re the ones that are least really responsible for climate change, but the ones that are going to be most affected,” he said.

    Jarvis added that farmers are on the frontlines of climate change, adding he never met one who doubted climate change was taking place.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.