What is Climpag?
Climpag is aimed at bringing together the
various aspects and interactions between weather,
climate and agriculture in the general context of food
security. As per FAO basic texts, the word agriculture includes
crops and grasslands, livestock husbandry, forestry and fisheries.
Climate and climate variability
Climpag contains methodologies, tools for a
better understanding and analysis of the effect of the variability of
weather and climate on agriculture as well as data and maps.
Climate system means the totality
of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere and their interactions.
Variation in climate is one of the main determinants of agricultural production
in all countries.
Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the average
weather, or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms
of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time
ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period
is 30 years. These quantities are most often surface variables such as
temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense
is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate
Climate includes seasonal extremes and variations, either locally,
regionally, or across the globe. In contrast to weather, climate is generally
influenced by slow changes in features like the ocean, the land, the orbit
of the Earth around the Sun, and the energy output of the Sun.
Climate variability refers to variations in the mean state and
other statistics (such as standard deviations, the occurrence of extremes,
etc.) of the climate on all temporal and spatial scales beyond that of
individual weather events. Variability may be due to natural internal
processes within the climate system (internal variability), or to variations
in natural or anthropogenic external forcing (external variability).
Agrometeorology deals with all
the weather-sensitive elements of agriculture production. The spectrum
of subjects is thus rather wide. It includes pollination, animal migration,
human and animal health, transport of pathogens by wind, irrigation, micro-climate
manipulation and artificial climates, weather risk assessments, the use
of weather forecasts in farming, crop yield and phenology forecasts and
particularly advice to farmers. Current agrometeorology relies
on a package of new tools, which define modern agrometeorology.
They include data acquisition techniques (ground observation, aircraft
and satellite), data transmission techniques (including the Internet)
and data analysis (models and other software).
At the World Food Summit in Rome (1996)
food security was defined as the situation "[…] when all people,
at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and
nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an
active and healthy life". This definition links the four aspects of food
security: availability of staple foods, stability of
supplies, access for all to these supplies and the biological utilization
of food. Since the 1970s FAO has been active in supporting the establishment,
improvement and reinforcement of national food information systems, which
are the main structure of food security monitoring. Food Security depends
on many factors, but weather variability plays a significant part.