Population Growth, Climate Change, and Pressure on the Land
While increased population growth has led to greater demands for locally grown food, many farm households face diminishing landholding sizes and little room to expand farms; both of these factors stress agricultural production. Also, in many parts of the world, climate change is putting agricultural systems under further stress from higher temperatures and increased rainfall variability. Intensive agriculture will require confronting the challenge of increasing production while maintaining or reducing the land, energy, and water “footprint”. We have identified four strategic partners that are aligned with four key regional agriculture production systems:
- South Asia Indo-gangetic plains rice-wheat systems
- East and South Africa Maize-mixed systems
- West Africa Sudano-Sahelien systems
- Ethiopian Highlands
MSU and its partners will take an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to studying these systems, combining climate change modeling with analysis of nationally representative farm household survey data and technology development by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research centers and Collaborative Research Support Programs.
Droughts, floods and extreme temperatures can lead to losses to agriculture, affect inland navigation, hydropower plants, and cause a lack of drinking water and famine. These natural disasters can also cause damage to infrastructure, property, and human health.
The interactive map below presents average temperature and precipitation from record values from 1961 to 1990 as well as projections for 2045 to 2065.