Climate change has converted to a multi-faceted predicament-
by- Naseem Sheikh
The most current report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
(drafted on Aug. 7, 2019) highlights the vulnerability of global food sanctuary
to deviations in climate and land use. The report emphasized that adaptive
strategies to reduce total carbon production and preserve natural ecosystems are
humanity’s best chance at mitigating the climate emergency’s effects on food
The report stressed the extent of human dependency on land systems. Humans are
currently using one quarter to one third of available land’s potential
production capacities. Essential products that come from land use, including
feed and natural energy sources such as fossil fuels, are crucial to
agricultural yields and the sustainability of the food supply chain.
Land degradation is a general term describing negative trends in land condition,
such as loss in biological productivity and ecological value to humans,
Civilization is consuming assets at an exceptional degree. Therefore, land has
become exhausted to the point that it will soon be unfeasible. Human disruption
of natural processes is leading to adverse, irreversible effects on Earth’s
The use and emissions of carbon in agriculture is cyclical in nature, advanced
agricultural practices such as tilling are a major source of carbon output into
the atmosphere. But, to produce crops with greater yields, we require the input
of carbon back into the land through synthetic sources such as fertilizers.
This configuration of replacing lost carbon through unnatural supplementation
disturbs the delicate balance of the Earth’s carbon cycle. As a result, more
carbon is released into the atmosphere, leaving the soil unable to reabsorb
extra outputs and cumulative overall greenhouse gas emissions. As emissions
increase, so do global temperatures, causing further water and land stress and
worsening many of the glitches connected with land use and food farming.
The scientific community agrees that the climate emergency will have disastrous
downstream consequences on all levels of society. As such, climate change has
led to concerns not only of environmental sustainability, but of social
stewardship. In reality, the two issues are inseparable.
The report takes into consideration people living in areas vulnerable to
desertification and land degradation, about half of the vulnerable inhabitants
exist in, in already susceptible areas in South Asia, Central Asia, West Africa,
and East Asia. Food anxiety will pose auxiliary problems to people living in
vulnerable coastal areas, who now face the immediate risk of losing invaluable
agricultural and residential land to rising sea levels.
Moreover, changes in food consumption patterns have created a global divide
whereby approximately two billion adults are overweight or obese, yet an
estimated 821 million people remain undernourished. Socioeconomic class and
geographic location serve as the main determinants for the widening divide.
Given sustained increases in mean global temperature, this divide will only
deepen without rapid intervention from national governments and international
Exposure and sensitivity to climate change and extreme climate events can impact
infrastructure and transport, and can cause direct and indirect changes to the
income level and food purchasing power of low-income consumers. Without a
drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions or the enactment of
carbon-reducing agriculture strategies, the cyclical patterns of poverty,
malnourishment, and income inequality will become further fixed into global