A panel of British and American researchers, speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington DC, presented updated research revealing how extreme events which affect the food system are increasingly likely to occur, resulting in ‘food shocks’. Food shocks have the potential to wreak havoc on food markets, commodity exports, and families around the world. Because distant regions are increasingly connected by global markets, the threat of

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BY LAURIE GOERING PARIS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Farmers face growing threats to their crops from more frequent drought and other extreme weather in coming decades, but using water more efficiently could help them protect food and water supplies, experts said. Globally, drought so severe it used to come once in 100 years is now expected to occur as often as every 30 years, Joshua Elliott, a University of Chicago agriculture expert, told a gathering

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The world’s food supply sits at a precarious balance. Swings in agricultural production due to drought or extreme heat can lead to spiking food prices, ecological damage, civil unrest, and other severe consequences. To help governments and businesses prepare for these potential crises, scientists are using agricultural and climate model data to forecast the frequency, severity, and effect of extreme weather years. In his July 8th talk at the Our Common Future Under Climate Change

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Today, the White House announced the latest branch of its Climate Data Initiative, focusing on new open datasets and tools for two important components of climate change: ecosystem resilience and water. As with a previous call for new climate research resources, scientists from the CI’s Center for Robust Decision Making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP) will support these efforts with a new project focused on the role and future of irrigation in agriculture, hydrology, and

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Despite growing awareness and acceptance of climate change around the world, it remains hard for much of the public to grasp the impact of these changes beyond warmer temperatures. Should carbon emissions continue at their current levels, the Earth’s new climate will have consequences for agriculture and food supply, economics, flooding, drought, and even where people live. To help warn the public about these serious concerns, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office released a graphic this

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When people talk about the most serious effects of climate change, they typically mention hotter temperatures, severe storms, rising sea levels, economic instability, and food security. Typically, the latter threat is measured in terms of the amount of calories produced by world agriculture, to quantify projected changes in maize, soy, wheat, and rice production under new climate conditions. But in a new editorial for Nature Climate Change, CI fellow Joshua Elliott and two co-authors explain

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Under the specter of a warmer future, scientists must study the downstream effects of climate change on humans, including the impact on agriculture, the economy, and society. But the scale of global climate models and regional models of agriculture, hydrology, and other sectors may be orders of magnitude apart, forcing researchers to find novel methods of closing that gap. In a new paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, a team of

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  [This article ran originally at International Science Grid This Week. Reprinted with permission.] In 2012, the United States suffered its worst agricultural drought in 24 years. Farmland across the country experienced a devastating combination of high temperatures and low precipitation, leading to the worst harvest yields in nearly two decades. At its peak, nearly two-thirds of the country experienced drought conditions according to the US Drought Monitor. Worse still, instead of an anomalous year of

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This week, the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a special section of 11 papers describing the global impacts of climate change. The massive body of research was the work of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project(ISI-MIP), an international collaboration of over 30 research teams, including the Computation Institute. CI fellow and RDCEP researcher Joshua Elliott was lead author on a study on the impact of climate change upon freshwater supply, irrigation,

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