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Climate warming may hit India's food securiy system: Report

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

High levels of warming resulting from continued growth in greenhouse gas emissions may hit India's food security system with a global report warning that the impact could be "more severe" on the country' rice and maize production.

Like crops, the country's fisheries could also be negatively affected by climate change, says a report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in Yokohama,

It says that emissions of CO2 often are accompanied by ozone (O3) precursors that have driven a rise in tropospheric O3 that harms crop yields.

"Elevated O3 since pre-industrial times has very likely suppressed global production of major crops compared to what they would have been without O3 increases, with estimated losses of roughly 10 per cent for wheat and soyabean and 3-5 per cent for maize and rice.

"Impacts are most severe over and China, but are also evident for soyabean and maize in the United States," says the report titled "Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability".

It says that climate trends like increase in air temperature and changes in monsoon pattern are affecting the abundance and distribution of fisheries in river Ganga and its fishery resources.

"....In India, changes in a number of climate variables including an increase in air temperature, regional monsoon variation and a regional increase in incidence of severe storms have led to changes in species composition in the river Ganga and have reduced the availability of fish spawn for aquaculture in the river Ganga....," it says.

A total of 309 coordinating lead authors, lead authors, and review editors, drawn from 70 countries, were selected to produce the report.

On livestock, the report says that climate change can impact the amount and quality of produce, profitability and reliability of production of the dairy, meat and wool systems primarily relying on fodders, grasslands and rangelands.

"Higher temperature would lead to decline in dairy production, reduced animal weight gain, stress on reproduction, increased cost of production and lower food conversion efficiency in warm regions.

"Disease incidence among livestock is expected to be exacerbated by climate change," adds the report.

First Published: Mon, March 31 2014. 18:44 IST