Invited review

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agriculture, and food—A case of shifting cultivation and history

John R. Porter (Corresponding Author), Andrew J. Challinor, Christian Bugge Henriksen, S. Mark Howden, Pierre Martre, Pete Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Since 1990 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has produced five Assessment Reports (ARs), in which agriculture as the production of food for humans via crops and livestock have featured in one form or another. A constructed data base of the ca. 2,100 cited experiments and simulations in the five ARs were analysed with respect to impacts on yields via crop type, region and whether or not adaptation was included. Quantitative data on impacts and adaptation in livestock farming have been extremely scarce in the ARs. The main conclusions from impact and adaptation are that crop yields will decline but that responses have large statistical variation. Mitigation assessments in the ARs have used both bottom-up and top down methods but need better to link emissions and their mitigation with food production and security. Relevant policy options have become broader in later ARs and included more of the social and non-production aspects of food security. Our overall conclusion is that agriculture and food security, which are two of the most central, critical and imminent issues in climate change, have been dealt with in an unfocussed and inconsistent manner between the IPCC five ARs. This is partly a result of agriculture spanning two IPCC working groups but also the very strong focus on projections from computer crop simulation modelling. For the future, we suggest a need to examine interactions between themes such as crop resource use efficiencies and to include all production and non-production aspects of food security in future roles for integrated assessment models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2518-2529
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume25
Issue number8
Early online date13 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Fingerprint

shifting cultivation
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
food security
Climate change
Agriculture
Crops
agriculture
history
crop yield
crop
mitigation
Farms
livestock farming
food production
resource use
simulation
livestock
climate change
food
modeling

Keywords

  • adaptation
  • climate change
  • food security
  • impact
  • IPPC
  • mitigation
  • policy
  • IPCC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Invited review : Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agriculture, and food—A case of shifting cultivation and history. / Porter, John R. (Corresponding Author); Challinor, Andrew J.; Henriksen, Christian Bugge; Howden, S. Mark; Martre, Pierre; Smith, Pete.

In: Global Change Biology, Vol. 25, No. 8, 08.2019, p. 2518-2529.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Porter, John R. ; Challinor, Andrew J. ; Henriksen, Christian Bugge ; Howden, S. Mark ; Martre, Pierre ; Smith, Pete. / Invited review : Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agriculture, and food—A case of shifting cultivation and history. In: Global Change Biology. 2019 ; Vol. 25, No. 8. pp. 2518-2529.
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abstract = "Since 1990 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has produced five Assessment Reports (ARs), in which agriculture as the production of food for humans via crops and livestock have featured in one form or another. A constructed data base of the ca. 2,100 cited experiments and simulations in the five ARs were analysed with respect to impacts on yields via crop type, region and whether or not adaptation was included. Quantitative data on impacts and adaptation in livestock farming have been extremely scarce in the ARs. The main conclusions from impact and adaptation are that crop yields will decline but that responses have large statistical variation. Mitigation assessments in the ARs have used both bottom-up and top down methods but need better to link emissions and their mitigation with food production and security. Relevant policy options have become broader in later ARs and included more of the social and non-production aspects of food security. Our overall conclusion is that agriculture and food security, which are two of the most central, critical and imminent issues in climate change, have been dealt with in an unfocussed and inconsistent manner between the IPCC five ARs. This is partly a result of agriculture spanning two IPCC working groups but also the very strong focus on projections from computer crop simulation modelling. For the future, we suggest a need to examine interactions between themes such as crop resource use efficiencies and to include all production and non-production aspects of food security in future roles for integrated assessment models.",
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