Table of Contents

Handbook on Climate Change and Agriculture

Handbook on Climate Change and Agriculture

Elgar original reference

Edited by Ariel Dinar and Robert Mendelsohn

This book explores the interaction between climate change and the agriculture sector. Agriculture is essential to the livelihood of people and nations, especially in the developing world; therefore, any impact on it will have significant economic, social, and political ramifications. Scholars from around the world and from various fields have been brought together to explore this important topic.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Ariel Dinar and Robert Mendelsohn

Subjects: development studies, agricultural economics, economics and finance, agricultural economics, environmental economics, environment, agricultural economics, climate change, environmental economics


Ariel Dinar and Robert Mendelsohn This book focuses on the impact of climate change on agriculture and how agriculture is able to adapt to such change. It explores what many disciplines can tell us about two questions: what will be the impending impact of such change? and what mechanisms can be implemented to help mitigate the resulting impacts? Climate change is expected to affect human livelihood, to different extents, at different locations. However, the impact on agriculture and its ability to adapt varies a great deal between regions (Mendelsohn and Dinar, 2009a). For example, some countries in Africa already face extreme climatic conditions, whereas some countries in Latin America appear to be the most vulnerable to climate change scenarios (Mendelsohn and Dinar, 2009a). Agriculture is the most important climate-sensitive sector in the economy, contributing 5 per cent of GDP (US CIA, 2011). At present, nearly one third of the earth’s land is utilized for growing both crops and pasture (FAO, 2006). Furthermore, farming provides the livelihood of hundreds of millions of people. Three-quarters of the rural poor in developing countries depend on agriculture as their main source of livelihood (IPCC, 2007). Agricultural and agro-ecological systems in many low-latitude countries are particularly vulnerable for several reasons. (a) climates in many low-latitude countries are already too hot and often too dry; (b) water supplies in these countries are limited and variable; (c) soil quality is often low and degraded; and (d) there is lack of adaptive capacity because these regions are relatively...