Climate change and its threats to sustainable agriculture

M. Qasim Jan, Khazima Muazim, Arshad Ashraf


Global warming, climate change and environmental degradation constitute the biggest threat to human civilization. Temperature measurement records on land and sea, shrinking polar ice sheets, recession in mountain glaciers, rise in sea level and ocean acidifi cation are manifestation of global temperature increase, estimated at 0.8–1.0°C since 1880. The present day global warming is generally considered a consequence of the accumulation in atmosphere of greenhouse gases, notably CO 2 , which result from burning of hydrocarbons in industry, power generation, vehicles and domestic use. Global warming would result in melting of glaciers and polar icecaps, unpredictable weather patterns, natural disasters (e.g., fl oods), disruption of existing communication systems and infrastructure, health issues, sea level rise and unmanageable threat to coastal regions. It can trigger the vicious circle of food insecurity, human migration and confl icts. Climate change can cause unpredictable changes in weather patterns, erosion of soil, desertifi cation of cultivable land, disruption of existing irrigation systems, and reduction of tropical forest cover. Hence, it would have severe impact on agriculture sector, food security and its supply chain. Melting of the glaciers in Tibet and greater Himalaya would adversely affect the food security and life pattern of three billion people. To mitigate climate change and harness food security, diverse sustainable and environment friendly techniques, such as crop rotation, integrated pest management, hydroponics, cultivation of salt tolerant plants, and effi cient irrigation techniques need to be employed. But, most importantly, the impending disaster of global warming can only be avoided by urgently controlling the emission of greenhouse gases.

Ключевые слова

Global warming; climate change; sustainable agriculture

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