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Climate change risks for African agriculture

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Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Articles & Journals
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Climate / Weather / Environment
Christoph Müller, Wolfgang Cramer, William L. Hare, and Hermann Lotze-Campen
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment of major risks for African agriculture and food security caused by climate change during coming decades is confirmed by a review of more recent climate change impact assessments (14 quantitative, six qualitative).

Projected impacts relative to current production levels range from −100% to +168% in econometric, from −84% to +62% in process-based, and from −57% to +30% in statistical assessments. Despite large uncertainty, there are several robust conclusions from published literature for policy makers and research agendas: agriculture everywhere in Africa runs some risk to be negatively affected by climate change; existing cropping systems and infrastructure will have to change to meet future demand.

With respect to growing population and the threat of negative climate change impacts, science will now have to show if and how agricultural production in Africa can be significantly improved.