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Edited by Ariel Dinar and Robert Mendelsohn
Chapter 5: Investigating the Connections between Climate Change, Drought and Agricultural Production
Michael Hayes, Donald A. Wilhite, Mark Svoboda and Miroslav Trnka INTRODUCTION The 2008 global food security crisis and the 2010 drought and heat wave in Russia’s wheat belt are two recent examples of how the challenges of poverty, equity, food security, water availability and climatic variability are already affecting agricultural systems around the world. In the developing world where food can easily consume more than 50 per cent of family incomes, any event negatively affecting agricultural systems has major ramifications (FAO, 2010). Within that context, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, 2009) of the United Nations has identified climate change as an additional challenge facing agriculture, forestry, fisheries and food security in the future. The simultaneous evolution of climate change impacts combined with global population growth estimated to reach 9.1 billion in 2050 illustrates that in order to continue to provide food, feed, fiber, employment, income and ecosystem services for the world, agricultural systems are going to have to incorporate climate change adaptations into efforts to address the growing demands associated with more people (FAO, 2009). Agricultural production and its annual variability are affected by the weather as well as factors of climate such as temperature, precipitation, carbon dioxide concentrations and water availability. These factors also affect the insects, diseases, weeds and soils that in turn influence agricultural production (Hillel and Rosenzweig, 2009; Backlund et al., 2008). Climate and climatic variability, therefore, play a major role in defining agricultural production around the world. The most pertinent climatic characteristics are annual...
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