Florida Climate Institute hosts seminar on food security, climate change impact

Published: March 26 2012

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — If the U.S. doesn’t have a plan for climate change, we could all lose the farm, researchers say.

Although climate scientists are able to project how global average temperatures will rise in the future based on various scenarios for greenhouse gas emissions, they cannot tell how rainfall patterns will change, or how seasonal temperatures will vary across specific geographic regions. The uncertainty makes it difficult to persuade farmers and agricultural policy makers to prepare for climate change. But the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., says that is exactly what they must do. Gerald Nelson, a research fellow from the institute, will be on the University of Florida campus Thursday to discuss why.

“We have been the world’s breadbasket for some time – a major supplier of soybeans, corn and wheat,” Nelson said. “But the U.S. imports a lot of its fruits and vegetables. We are part of a global system.” And even under the most optimistic scenarios for climate change, that system is bound to change, he added.

Research at IFPRI focuses on analyzing how agricultural policy plays out in a global economy.

“We don’t advocate for one policy over another,” Nelson said. “We just show what the consequences of different policies have been and are likely to be.”

Nelson is scheduled to speak in two places at UF. Both are free and open to the public.

In the first session, titled “Should I Worry about Climate Change,” Nelson said he plans to discuss how a changing climate could affect lives on a personal level and what individuals can do to make themselves more resilient in the face of coming changes.

In the second presentation, “Food Security in a Warming World,” he will walk through possible scenarios for how food availability and prices are likely to change as the globe warms. UF’s Office of Sustainability is co-sponsoring the session.

“Dr. Nelson is one of the world’s leading experts on climate change and food security at a global scale, with a focus on developing country impacts and adaptation,” said Jim Jones, director of the Florida Climate Institute. “His work is widely known and cited worldwide.”

The programs:

1-2 p.m.
282 Reitz Student Union
“Should I Worry About Climate Change?”

6:30-7:30 p.m.
Carleton Hall
“Food Security in a Warming World”


Donna Hesterman, donna.hesterman@ufl.edu, 352-846-2573
Carolyn Cox, crcox@ufl.edu, 352-392-1864

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories