According to the Intergovernmetal Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), billions of people in the next decades, particularly those in developing countries, will face changes in rainfall patterns that will contribute to severe water shortages or flooding, and rising temperatures that will cause shifts in crop growing seasons. This will increase food shortages and distribution of disease vectors, putting populations at greater health and life risks. The impact of a single climate-, water- or weather-related disaster can wipe out years of gains in economic development.
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Priced Out of NutritionLast Updated on 2011-01-10 00:00:00
Nutritional Security is in the Balance
On SciDev.Net (20 January 2010), Suresh Babu notes that worldwide many are priced out of nutrition (that is, poor populations cope with higher food prices by shifting to less:
Developing countries urgently need nutritional interventions to safeguard vulnerable people during economic crises.
Food insecurity receives much attention from researchers and donors. But the lack of nutrition security — access to balanced nourishment — is much less visible and equally devastating to the health and economic development of poor populations.
The effects of malnourishment are stark. A lack of protein exponentially increases children's risk of death, while vitamin A and iron deficiencies are also associated with higher infant and child mortality. Early life and childhood malnutrition leads to stunting and anaemia, which not... More »
Wasted FoodLast Updated on 2010-10-03 06:53:32Wasted Food, Wasted Energy:
The Embedded Energy in
Food Waste in the United States
In their Abstract, Amanda Cuellar and Michael Webber of the University of Texas at Austin, report
This work estimates the energy embedded in wasted food annually in the United States. We calculated the energy intensity of food production from agriculture, transportation, processing, food sales, storage, and preparation for 2007 as 8080 ± 760 trillion BTU. In 1995 approximately 27% of edible food was wasted. Synthesizing these food loss figures with our estimate of energy consumption for different food categories and food production steps, while normalizing for different production volumes, shows that 2030 ± 160 trillion BTU of energy were embedded in wasted food in 2007. The energy embedded in wasted food represents approximately 2% of annual energy consumption in the... More »
Water Security / River BiodiversityLast Updated on 2010-09-30 00:00:00Global Threats to Human
Water Security and River Biodiversity
Rivers in Crisis reports that
Rivers maintain unique biotic resources and provide critical water supplies to people. The Earth's limited supplies of fresh water and irreplaceable biodiversity are vulnerable to human mismanagement of watersheds and waterways. Multiple environmental stressors, such as agricultural runoff, pollution and invasive species, threaten rivers that serve 80 percent of the world’s population. These same stressors endanger the biodiversity of 65 percent of the world’s river habitats putting thousands of aquatic wildlife species at risk. Efforts to abate fresh water degradation through highly engineered solutions are effective at reducing the impact of threats but at a cost that can be an economic burden and often out of reach for developing nations.
Our analysis, reported in... More »
Water Security, Climate Change, Science.Last Updated on 2010-09-21 16:57:10Water Security and Climate Change:
How Science Can Help
In this15 September 2010 Editorial, David Dickson, Director, SciDev.Net says
Policymakers need better information about the regional impact of climate change on water supplies, and on ways of adapting to it.
For centuries, food production — and thus social development — has depended heavily on access to the water needed to grow crops or rear livestock. Having enough water is only part of the issue, however: it must also be available when and where it is most needed.
In the past few decades, the balance between water supplies and human need has come under increasing threat from growing populations, urbanisation and, most recently, climate change.
One of the biggest impacts of the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is expected to be a significant increase in rainfall variability and in... More »
Erratic Rainfall a Threat to Food SecurityLast Updated on 2010-09-06 00:00:00Erratic Rainfall a
Threat to Food Security
A report from the International Water Management Institute finds that more erratic rainfall generated by or related to climate change poses a threats to food security and economic growth.
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