Unavoidable Global Warming Commitment and Its Food Security Implications

By Peter Carter.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As a baseline guide for indicating the urgency of today’s climate change situation for protecting food security, we estimate the total unavoidable global warming by including all unavoidable sources of warming; in particular, for policy relevance, we start with the time to atmospheric greenhouse gas stabilization. We rely of the IPCC assessments and the National Research Council’s 2011 Climate Stabilization Targets. Having made this estimate by a simple calculation, we link the unavoidable global warming to unavoidable crop yield changes from climate crop model projections. From the climate science, we identify the following unavoidable warming sources that contribute to unavoidable future warming: 1.Duration of global warming; 2.Today’s global emissions scenario; 3.Time from the fastest emergency reduction of emissions to atmospheric greenhouse gas stabilization. 4.Delayed warming from the ocean heat lag; 5.Deferred warming from unmasking of committed warming due to fossil fuel air pollution aerosol cooling. 6. Additional warming from positive climate system feedbacks resulting from the above.

Keywords: Committed Global Climate Change, Food Security, Mitigation and Adaptation Policy Planning

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.83-100. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 5.391MB).

Dr. Peter Carter

Climate Change Environmental Health Policy Adviser, Environmental Health, Climate Emergency Institute, Pender Island, British Columbia, Canada

Peter is a retired medical doctor, after nearly 40 years in practice in family and emergency medicine, first in England and then in Newfoundland and British Columbia, Canada. As a founding director of CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment), he has presented on sustainable development and environmental health policy issues to the federal government of Canada, the Ontario government and the British Columbia government. He is the coordinator of the International Climate Health Council for Canada. He has developed and manages a suite of educational websites on global climate change. His most recent endeavor is the development of the international on line Climate Emergency Institute based in Canada, which was a major group in the recent UN Rio+20 sustainable development conference, and has taken part in the Bonn Climate Water Food Nexus, and the 2012 FAO climate change food security consultation. The focus of the institute is the most climate change vulnerable regions and populations. The main project of the institute at present is the implications of committed global climate change on food security. The most recent presentation was the International Symposium on Resource Management and Society, University of Alberta, June 2012.

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