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US food security and climate change: Agricultural futures

Author

Listed:
  • Takle, Eugene S.
  • Gustafson, David
  • Beachy, Roger
  • Nelson, Gerald C.
  • Mason-D'Croz, Daniel
  • Palazzo, Amanda

Abstract

Agreement is developing among agricultural scientists on the emerging inability of agriculture to meet growing global food demands. The lack of additional arable land and availability of freshwater have long been constraints on agriculture. However, the increased frequency of extreme and unpredictable weather events, in a manner consistent with the changes predicted by global climate models, is expected to exacerbate the global food challenge as we move toward the middle of the 21st century. These climate- and constraint-driven crop production challenges are interconnected within a complex global economy, where diverse factors add to price volatility and food scarcity. The present report projects the impact of climate change on food security through the year 2050. The analysis presented here suggests that climate change in the first half of the 21st century does not represent a near-term threat to food security in the US due to the availability of adaptation strategies. However, as climate continues to trend away from 20th century norms current adaptation measures will not be sufficient to enable agriculture to meet growing food demand. High-end projections on carbon emissions will exacerbate the food shortfall, although uncertainty in climate model projections (particularly precipitation) is a limitation to impact studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Takle, Eugene S. & Gustafson, David & Beachy, Roger & Nelson, Gerald C. & Mason-D'Croz, Daniel & Palazzo, Amanda, 2013. "US food security and climate change: Agricultural futures," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-17, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201317
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. You, Liangzhi & Wood, Stanley, 2006. "An entropy approach to spatial disaggregation of agricultural production," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-3), pages 329-347, October.
    2. Nelson, Gerald C. & Rosegrant, Mark W. & Palazzo, Amanda & Gray, Ian & Ingersoll, Christina & Robertson, Richard & Tokgoz, Simla & Zhu, Tingju & Sulser, Timothy B. & Ringler, Claudia & Msangi, Siwa & , 2010. "Food security, farming, and climate change to 2050: Scenarios, results, policy options," Research reports Gerald C. Nelson, et al., International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Malcolm, Scott A. & Marshall, Elizabeth P. & Aillery, Marcel P. & Heisey, Paul W. & Livingston, Michael J. & Day-Rubenstein, Kelly A., 2012. "Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate: Economic and Environmental Implications Vary by U.S. Region," Economic Research Report 127734, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. You, Liangzhi & Wood, Stanley & Wood-Sichra, Ulrike, 2007. "Generating plausible crop distribution and performance maps for Sub-Saharan Africa using a spatially disaggregated data fusion and optimization approach:," IFPRI discussion papers 725, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change; food security; crop production; United States;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade

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