• Food securityCoronavirus: A Wake-Up Call to Strengthen the Global Food System

    A new commentary in the journal One Earth highlights not only climate-related risks to the global food system, such as drought and floods, but also exposes the coronavirus pandemic as a shock to the system that has led to food crises in many parts of the world. To address the challenges of a globally interconnected food system, a systems approach is required.

  • Food securityBreakthrough for Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine

    When it comes to livestock, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is probably the most devastating picornavirus on the planet. FMD is a serious and economically devastating livestock disease. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), the virus causing FMD, is extremely contagious and afflicts animals with cloven hooves like cows, pigs, sheep and deer.

  • Food securityIt's Time to Rethink the Disrupted U.S. Food System from the Ground Up

    By David R. Montgomery and Jennifer J. Otten, and Sarah M. Collier

    The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic shutdowns have severely disrupted and spotlighted weaknesses in the U.S. food system. Farmers, food distributors and government agencies are working to reconfigure supply chains so that food can get to where it’s needed. But there is a hidden, long-neglected dimension that should also be addressed as the nation rebuilds from the current crisis. As scholars who study different aspects of soil, nutrition and food systems, we’re concerned about a key vulnerability at the very foundation of the food system: soil.

  • Food securityGame-Changing Technologies to Transform Food Systems

    In the next three decades, the world will need a 30–70 percent increase in food availability to meet the demand from an increasing population. In addition, the global food system will need to change profoundly if it is going to provide humanity with healthy food that is grown sustainably in ways that are not only resilient in the face of climate change but also do not surpass planetary boundaries. According to new research, a pipeline of disruptive technologies could transform our food systems, ecosystems, and human health, but attention to the enabling environment is needed to realize their potential.

  • Food securityClimate Change Increases Risk of Fisheries Conflict

    A team of fisheries scientists and marine policy experts examined how climate change is affecting the ocean environment and found that the changing conditions will likely result in increased fisheries-related conflicts and create new challenges in the management of global fisheries.

  • Water securityChanges in Snowmelt Threaten Farmers in Western U.S.

    Farmers in parts of the western United States who rely on snowmelt to help irrigate their crops will be among the hardest hit in the world by climate change, a new study reveals. The study pinpointed basins globally most at risk of not having enough water available at the right times for irrigation because of changes in snowmelt patterns. Two of those high-risk areas are the San Joaquin and Colorado river basins in the western United States.

  • Food securityIrrigation Expansion Could Feed 800 Million More People

    Agriculture, which accounts for 90 percent of global water use, is the largest driver of water scarcity worldwide, and it is often the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations that suffer the severest consequences. A new study suggests that there is enough locally available water to expand irrigation over 140 million hectares of agricultural lands.

  • Food securityCOVID-19 Is Another Wake Up Call for Food Security

    With lockdowns ordered to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, there are fears of food shortages caused by panic buying and supply chain disruptions. Paul Teng writes in SciDev.Net that recent announcements by some countries that they are initiating export restrictions of food products or reviewing export agreements have brought back memories of the 2007—2008 food crisis when there was an interruption to global food supply chains as several key countries limited exports of rice and wheat. This unleashed a series of events around the world, including food shortages, price spikes and civil disobedience in over 30 countries.

  • Food securityCOVID-19 Disruptions: Understanding Food Security Implications

    According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the world’s food systems and disrupting regional agricultural trade and value chains. The FAO has warned that food shortages are a real risk in the coming months. This global health crisis will test our food and trade systems in ways never experienced before.

  • Food securityWe Simulated How a Modern Dust Bowl Would Impact Global Food Supplies and the Result Is Devastating

    By Miina Porkka, Alison Heslin, and Matti Kummu

    When the southern Great Plains of the United States were blighted with a series of droughts in the 1930s, it had an unparalleled impact on the whole country. Combined with decades of ill-advised farming policy, the result was the Dust Bowl. Massive dust storms began in 1931 and devastated the country’s major cereal producing areas. But what consequences would a disruption like the Dust Bowl have now, when the Great Plains of the U.S. are not just the breadbasket of America, but a major producer of staple cereals that are exported around the world?

  • Climate crisisClimate-Driven Megadrought Is Emerging in Western U.S.: Study

    By Kevin Krajick

    With the western United States and northern Mexico suffering an ever-lengthening string of dry years starting in 2000, scientists have been warning for some time that climate change may be pushing the region toward an extreme long-term drought worse than any in recorded history. A new study says the time has arrived: a megadrought as bad or worse than anything even from known prehistory is very likely in progress, and warming climate is playing a key role.

  • Food securityHow Will The COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Global Food Supplies? Here's What We Know.

    That strawberry you’re eating while self-isolating from the coronavirus? Chances are it came from a farm. Or it may have come from a large agricultural operation many, many kilometers away from your home, harvested by hand, possibly by migrant workers brought in from other towns, cities, or even countries. But can that system continue to bring you strawberries as the global coronavirus pandemic continues? Or bread? Pasta? Cooking oil?

  • Food securityImpact of a Second Dust Bowl Would Be Felt Worldwide

    The American Dust Bowl of the 1930s - captured by the novels of John Steinbeck - was an environmental and socio-economic disaster that worsened the Great Depression. The Dust Bowl was an extreme event. But due to climate change, massive crop failures are more likely to happen again in the future. A catastrophic shock to U.S. agriculture would deplete reserves, including those of other countries.

  • FloodsComparing Floodplain Protection Today to Predicted Future Flood Losses

    A new study seeks to answer an important question related to flooding in the United States – pay now to protect undeveloped areas that are likely to flood in the future or allow developments to go ahead and pay for damage when it occurs.

  • Climate & businessThe Challenges Facing Fisheries Climate Risk Insurance

    The world’s first “Fisheries Index Insurance” scheme, launched by an international consortium in July, is a sovereign-level instrument designed to protect Caribbean fishing communities from extreme weather events which may become more frequent and intense due to climate change. But insurance schemes with the potential to improve the resilience of global fisheries face a host of future challenges, researchers say.