Climate change is not new to South America and Central. Both regions are now fighting a war time recurrent hurricanes, flash horrible food and landslides, linked to changing patterns of violent and showers. Days have become noticeably warmer and the region has been the loss of his number of cool nights. Moreover, the shortage of unusual rainfall means Central America now has to prepare for a food crisis linked by drought.
While some areas of the region have been considered highly vulnerable to climate, such as the Andean agro-ecosystem, considered one of the most vulnerable systems of the world, change not yet know the consistent climate impacts- especially those related to food production.
A new and extensive study seeks to contribute to providing a better understanding of how climate change will affect the region.
The study, entitled Climate Change in Central and South America: Recent trends, future projections, and its impact on the Regional Agriculture (PDF) gathers and analyzes, climatic trends from the past 60 years, while modeling future climate projections to the year 2100 a close look at how common crops in the region will be affected by rising temperatures and unpredictable rainfall is needed. Another important part of this work is the evaluation of different climate models.
One of the main concerns, what appears to be a global epidemic, is the lack of data on the current climate and the figures for South and Central America. Although the authors refer to this knowledge gap in their work, the results presented should be interpreted with caution. There is also a smaller number of climate studies and publications in Central America compared to South America.
To make things even more complicated influences and interactions, which control the climate of this region in particular, are complex. This makes it difficult for climate models to simulate observed climate.
To adjust for this lack of data, the team figures available supplemented with data from the IPCC AR5 report released earlier this year to ensure a higher degree of credibility.
The way climate change will affect agricultural productivity is through high temperatures, which accelerate the cycle and therefore affect productivity – especially the phenological stages of flowering and ripening. To note is that changes in agricultural productivity will exhibit large spatial variability in the region.
In southeastern South America, where climate change projections indicate more rain, the average productivity of food could be maintained or increased until mid-century.
In Central America, northeastern Brazil and parts of the Andean region, the increase in temperature and decrease in rainfall could reduce productivity in the short term, threatening the food security of the poor.
Brazilian potato production could be restricted to a few months in currently hot areas, which today allow potato production throughout the year. To the northeast of Brazil, is expected to decrease crop yields in subsistence crops, such as beans, maize and cassava.
In the future, it is expected that the conditions of combined heating with more variable rainfall to reduce maize, beans and rice productivity in Central America. Rice and wheat yields could decrease up to 10% in 2030.
In central Chile, temperature increases, reduced hours of cold and scarcity of water can reduce the productivity of winter crops, fruits, vines and radiata pine.
The higher heating planned for 2100 (5.8 ° C under the A2 SRES scenario) could make harvesting viable coffee in Minas Gerais and São Paulo, in southeastern Brazil. Therefore, the coffee crop may have to be transferred to the southern regions where temperatures are lower and the risk of frost can be reduced.