Invited review: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agriculture, and food—A case of shifting cultivation and history

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Since 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has produced five Assessment Reports (ARs), in which agriculture as the production of food for humans via crops and livestock have featured in one form or another. A constructed database of the ca. 2,100 cited experiments and simulations in the five ARs was analyzed with respect to impacts on yields via crop type, region, and whether adaptation was included. Quantitative data on impacts and adaptation in livestock farming have been extremely scarce in the ARs. The main conclusions from impact and adaptation are that crop yields will decline, but that responses have large statistical variation. Mitigation assessments in the ARs have used both bottom-up and top-down methods but need better to link emissions and their mitigation with food production and security. Relevant policy options have become broader in later ARs and included more of the social and nonproduction aspects of food security. Our overall conclusion is that agriculture and food security, which are two of the most central, critical, and imminent issues in climate change, have been dealt with an unfocussed and inconsistent manner between the IPCC five ARs. This is partly a result of not only agriculture spanning two IPCC working groups but also the very strong focus on projections from computer crop simulation modeling. For the future, we suggest a need to examine interactions between themes such as crop resource use efficiencies and to include all production and nonproduction aspects of food security in future roles for integrated assessment models.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume25
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2518-2529
ISSN1354-1013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

    Research areas

  • adaptation, climate change, food security, impact, IPCC, mitigation, policy

ID: 224335709