The global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, less than 1 percent a year, said the United Nations on Monday, with the population forecast to pass the milestone of 8 billion on Nov. 15. India was expected to surpass China as the world's most populous nation next year, with the United States challenged for third place by Nigeria by mid-century.
Global warming "is causing dangerous and widespread disruptions in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world," said a UN climate change report on Monday. Hotter weather and shifts in rainfall are likely to reduce food production in North America and are a risk to food security, said a fact sheet on climate change's impacts on the continent.
Nearly 1 billion people live in countries where food production is threatened by climate change, says the World Resources Institute in a report that advocates "transformative adaptation" or large-scale change. "Risks are especially high in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and small island developing nations and for vulnerable groups such as women, youth, indigenous peoples and people living in poverty, among others," said the report, "Food Systems at Risk," released on Wednesday.
Thanks to sensors and computer control of water and nutrients, technologically advanced growers like California almond farmer Tom Rogers are leaders in what The Economist calls "smart farming."
The United States and Cuba, adversaries since the 1960s, agreed to cooperate in improving food production and conserving natural resources as part of President Obama's visit to Havana.
As environment ministers hashed out the details of a climate change agreement, FERN correspondent Daniel Grossman sat down with two prominent experts in Paris to talk about the impact of climate change on agriculture.
One out of nine people in the world endures chronic hunger now, and climate change could put as many as 175 million additional people at risk of undernourishment by 2080, says a U.S. paper released today in Paris.
Changing environmental conditions around the world "could negatively impact the health of millions of people by altering the amount and quality of key crops," according to two studies from the Harvard School of Public Health.
There are fewer food-insecure people in the low- and middle-income nations of the world, about 475 million, or 46 million less than last year, says the government.
In a 40-page report, Oxfam America suggests several steps to improve Feed the Future, an Obama administration initiative that uses public-private partnerships to boost local food production in targeted countries.
The same threats that climate change poses for farmers -- floods and severe storms -- "are also highlighting the vulnerability of food distribution systems," says Earth Island Journal in a story developed in partnership with The Food & Environment Reporting Network.
The eight-minute film "Man in a Maze" opens with an aerial view of fresh produce being dumped into a landfill at the Mexico-U.S. border, and ends with an aerial view of a community garden.
Oil prices are likely to stay low throughout this year, says Rabobank, and should eventually benefit consumers through lower food prices, according to Farm Futures.
The think tank World Resources Institute says the world food gap could be narrowed greatly if crop-based biofuels - made from corn, sugarcane or vegetable oils - are eliminated. In a working paper, WRI points to estimates that food production must rise by 70 percent by 2050 to feed the growing world population. "If crop-based biofuels were phased out, the 2050 crop calorie gap would decrease from 70 percent to about 60 percent, a significant step toward a sustainable food future," says the report by Tim Searchinger and Ralph Heimlich.
Genetic resources in crops and livestock can play a crucial role in feeding the world and "much more needs to be done to study, preserve and utilize the biological diversity that underpins world food production," said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization...
The outbreak of Ebola infections in western Africa is disrupting food production so that hundreds of thousands of people will face hunger in coming months, says The Atlantic.
More than 40 percent of China's arable land suffers from degradation, such as the impact of erosion, fertility losses, climate change and pollution, according to the official news agency Xinhua, said Reuters.
From the Aral Sea basin in central Asia to the San Joaquin Valley of California, 20 percent of the world's irrigated land is degraded by salt buildup, says a study by United Nations University.