econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 11 March 2016

How Climate Change Will Affect What We Eat In 2050

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Marco Springmann, University of Oxford

One of the most important consequences of climate change will be its effect on agriculture. A lot of research has focused on food scarcity as the world heats up, but the connection between agriculture and health goes beyond mere calories.

The World Health Organisation's Global Burden of Disease reported that, in 2010, the greatest number of deaths worldwide was attributable to imbalanced diets, such as diets low in fruit and vegetables and high in red and processed meat. Climate change is likely to make the problem of imbalanced diets worse.

In a new study, we estimated that climate change could lead to more than half a million additional deaths worldwide in 2050 as a result of changes in the composition of diet and body weight. To put this into context, the estimated number of deaths as a result of climate change-induced heat stress is about 100,000 deaths. And the additional deaths as a result of the greater spread of dengue and malaria is below 50,000.

Building a model

To analyse the effects of climate change on diets and body weight, we used a series of computer models. We initially used models that estimated changes in temperature and rainfall around the world under different climate scenarios. The results of these models were then used in global crop models which estimated changes in crop growth around the world.

We then used these changes in a global economic model that projected the market reactions to those "shocks", for example, changes in the area used to plant crops, price changes, changes in global food trade, and finally, changes in food consumption worldwide. Based on the economic results, we were then able to calculate changes in the number of deaths associated with changes in diet composition and body weight.

Our models showed that about half a million additional deaths would occur due to reductions in fruit and vegetable consumption alone. Climate-related reductions in red meat consumption mitigated part of that health burden, but not to a large degree.

Changes in body weight were much more balanced globally. We found that an increase in the proportion of people who are underweight would lead to about a quarter of a million additional deaths, but also that reductions in the proportion of people who are overweight or obese would lead to a similar proportion of avoided deaths.

Of course, beyond the global changes are big regional differences. Climate-related increases in the proportion of underweight people represented the greatest health burden in the low and middle-income countries of South-East Asia, in particular in India, as well as in the low and middle-income countries in Africa. Reduction in fruit and vegetable consumption was the greatest health problem in most other regions, including the low and middle-income countries of the Western Pacific, in particular China, but also of Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as in high-income countries.

About 75% of all climate-related deaths were projected to occur in China and India. In China, the burden is mostly due to reductions in fruit and vegetable consumption, while in India, it's mostly due to increases in the number of people being underweight.

Reduction in the availability of fruit and vegetables will hit China hard. www.shutterstock.com

What to do about it?

Two things can be done to address the health effects we found. First, the health effects of climate change diminished with the severity of climate change. Were the world to follow a path of lower emissions, then the health impacts of climate change would be reduced - by about a third if current emissions reduction targets are met, and by more than two thirds if more ambitious emissions reduction targets are met (that is, ones that will keep global warming at less than 2ºC by the end of the century). But governments and industry will need to do a lot more if we are to achieve the latter.

Second, a prudent approach to the problem of changes in food supply as a result of climate change would be to put more emphasis on preventing and treating ill health related to imbalanced diets. This could be by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, and by considering the whole weight distribution instead of just changes in the number of people who are underweight. And we need to move away from just looking at how much food there is to also considering what food there is.

The ConversationMarco Springmann, Researcher, University of Oxford

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Are You Feeling the Economic Surge?
Big Mess in Italy
News Blog
How Much Money It Costs To Make Money
Multiple Jobs Needed To Make Ends Meet
The Final Crisis Chronicle: The Panic Of 1907 And The Birth Of The Fed
Is There A Gender Wage Growth Gap?
Moving Averages Can Identify A Trade
Infographic Of The Day: Hobbies That Will Make You Money
Earnings And Economic Reports: Week Starting 05 December 2016
Early Headlines: Green Pty Cancels - Then Appeals PA Recount, IRS Serves Summons On Bitcoin Co, Most Mfg Jobs Lost To Automation, 2017 US Hosing Outlook And More
The Smartphone Market Is Not A Two-Horse Race
Italy's Referendum: What's At Stake And What You Need To Know
There Were Over A Million Casualties At The Somme
The Best Countries In The World
What We Read Today 03 December 2016 - Public Edition
Investing Blog
How To Invest When The Fed Destroys Capitalism
Technical Thoughts: Manage Risk
Opinion Blog
Why Did Trump Win? A Different Perspective, Part 3
Jobs Without Disruptions Through Concordian Economics
Precious Metals Blog
Silver Prices Rebounded Today: Where They Are Headed
Live Markets
02Dec2016 Market Close: WTI Crude Climbed Back Up To Previous 51 Handle, US Dollar Index Trading At The100 Level, Oil Rig Count At 10-Month High
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government



Crowdfunding ....






























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved