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The vulnerabilities of agricultural land and food production to future water scarcity

Fitton, N., Alexander, P., Arnell, N., Bajzelj, B., Calvin, K., Doelman, J., Gerber, J. S., Havlik, P., Hasegawa, T., Herrero, M., Krisztin, T., van Meijl, H., Powell, T., Sands, R., Stehfest, E., West, P. C. and Smith, P. (2019) The vulnerabilities of agricultural land and food production to future water scarcity. Global Environmental Change, 58. 101944. ISSN 0959-3780

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.101944


Rapidly increasing populations coupled with increased food demand requires either an expansion of agriculturalland or sufficient production gains from current resources. However, in a changing world, reduced wateravailability might undermine improvements in crop and grass productivity and may disproportionately affectdifferent parts of the world. Using multi-model studies, the potential trends, risks and uncertainties to land useand land availability that may arise from reductions in water availability are examined here. In addition, theimpacts of different policy interventions on pressures from emerging risks are examined.Results indicate that globally, approximately 11% and 10% of current crop- and grass-lands could be vul-nerable to reduction in water availability and may lose some productive capacity, with Africa and the MiddleEast, China, Europe and Asia particularly at risk. While uncertainties remain, reduction in agricultural land areaassociated with dietary changes (reduction of food waste and decreased meat consumption) offers the greatestbuffer against land loss and food insecurity.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Walker Institute
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:85140


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