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Study: Climate Change Limits Agricultural Productivity

Climate Change Issues are hurting agricultural productivity in Barbados and other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

That’s the conclusion of a new study conducted by three researchers and just released by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Michee Arnold Lachaud (University of Connecticut), Boris E. Bravo-Ureta (University of Connecticut and University of Talca, Chile), and the IDB’s Carlos E. Ludena investigated the impact climatic conditions had on productivity and output in agriculture.

They said the study’s main finding “is that climatic variability has negative impacts on production and productivity”.

“These adverse impacts are significant and vary across countries, sub-regions and regions.

On the basis of information from the fifth assessment report from the [Inter-Governmental Panel On Climate Change], climatic variability will reduce productivity across [Latin America, and the Caribbean] in the scenarios considered.

“Specifically, our forecast revealed that between 2013 and 2040 climatic effects can be expected to decrease productivity  by 2.4 per cent, [with relatively low emissions], and 10.7 per cent, under [high emissions, with respect to a baseline scenario.”

The report added: “The latter assumes no change in climatic variables relative to the average for the 30-year period 1982 to 2012. The forecast economic cost ranges between US$12.7 billion and US$89.1 billion in the region depending on the scenario and the discount rate used.”

The researchers pointed out that the numbers were conservative because they did not consider extreme weather impacts, for example, hurricanes, and the resulting damage to agricultural infrastructure.

“Nonetheless, these results clearly suggest that, given the importance of agriculture in the countries, if appropriate and immediate actions are not undertaken then climatic variability can be expected to change the economic development path of the region,” they said.

“Increasing productivity will have to be the path to thwart the challenges from climatic variability, among other obstacles, in order to ensure global food security.” (SC)

Credit: Nation News

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