Geospatial information for sustainable food systems

Climate Change impact on Agricultural production

In many cases climate change, will bring increasing intensity and frequency of drought, and changes in the intensity and distribution of precipitation. Sea-level rise will affect many densely populated coastal systems, with increasing storm surges, soil salinization land degradation and soil erosion - particularly in the most fragile ecosystems such as deltas and low-lying areas. Agriculture practices need to adapt to these changing climatic conditions, but they also represent an opportunity to mitigate these negative effects. It is clear that assessments of the impact of climate scenarios on the agricultural sectors and food production are crucial to national plans for food security and sustainable land use management.

Over the last 30 years, FAO and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) have developed the Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZ) methodology for assessing agricultural resources and potential. Matching crop‐specific requirements for climate, soil and terrain resources under assumed levels of inputs and management conditions provides maximum potential and crop yields. By comparing future climatic conditions with baseline information on suitability and yield, the impact of climate on the performances of land utilization types can be assessed.