Agriculture, Water, and Food Security | Wilson Center

Agriculture, Water, and Food Security

There is a close relationship between acute water scarcity and acute poverty, said Madar Samad, and this scarcity will only increase by 2050. A major part of adapting to climate change will be addressing water and temperature changes and their affects on crop production. An important low hanging fruit is to increase efficiency in current crop production techniques, including storage and drying. This is one area where no kind of quantum leap is required, said Reiner Wassmann, but there are a number of individual steps that could come to sizable improvement.

Wassmann documents a huge loss in grain productions as temperatures rise over time. However, rising temperatures also pose a threat to high altitude rangelands, which act as a carbon sink on the Tibetan Plateau said speaker Dan Miller. Many of these grasslands are becoming more homogeneous, as heat tolerant species prosper. This threatens biodiversity of larger mammals, such as the yak, which depend on certain types of grasses to live.