Global Warming Impact: Flood Events, Wet-Dry Conditions and Changing Scene in World Food Security
Agriculture is weather-dependent so a significant alteration in the world climate would cause lot of changes in agricultural practice and agricultural productivity in the world. For man to feed himself adequately man must adjust his food production activities in line with the changes in the weather and climate. This paper elucidates the effects of climate change on regional shifts in world production of grain crops. It looks into the flood events, wet-dry conditions in certain regions in the world and the influence of these events on agricultural productivity and food security. Mitigation efforts to secure food in the world are suggested. North America now has warmer and shorter winter, increased spring run-off, drier summer and a shift in agro-climate which affects temperate crops. The production of corn and maple is now limited. In Tanzania, Africa, the climate has improved the production of maize and rice. In Australia, severe drought has transformed agriculture as the farmers switch the production of rice for the production of wine grape. Wheat production is devastated in the Indo-Gangetic Plain, so India and Pakistan are back in wheat deficit. Barley production is supported in New Zealand and Australia while it is being driven to extinction in Ethiopia. In the past 2 years, the weather has supported increased production of soybean in Brazil. In 2008, malnutrition dropped significantly in Niger Republic due to increased harvests of rain-fed grain crops. In the same year the weather favoured the production of grains in Nigeria but in Somalia, localized flood event destroyed late maize crop. Flood events at continental level affected the regions of
Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya and caused significant loss of livestock. In Asia, Afghanistan lost farmland, livestock and mills to heavy rains and flood. Central and Eastern Europe lost huge hectares of farmland with Hungary losing more land area to flood water. The Great Plains of North America lost huge area of farmland as Red River flowed over in 2006. The tributaries of River Amazon in Brazil and three states in Argentina covering
250,000 km2 along the river basin was lost to flood. An epidemic re-emerged in Angola in the wake of a flood event in 2006. A mitigation of the effects of global warming should include a stable, democratic government and the presence of basic infrastructure in the developing countries. Techniques, which are applicable to traditional and small scale
farming systems are required. Research works that evolve mitigation techniques should be advocated and funded; and findings of research disseminated to the farmers. There is need to develop crops which are resilient to drought and water logging. Research in plant and animal diseases must be vigorous and well funded. Adaptive techniques consistent with change in the climate of each region seem the solution to world food security. A shift in agricultural trade pattern is certain and important to correct the climate change anomalies in agricultural output and food production across the world. Mitigation efforts must be initiated by governments and must start at the grass root.
Keywords: Global Warming Impact, Food Security