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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More