Climate change impacts on food security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Insights from comprehensive climate change scenarios

Climate change impacts vary significantly, depending on the scenario and the Global Circulation Model (GCM) chosen. This is particularly true for Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper uses a comprehensive climate change scenario (CCC) based on ensembles of 17 GCMs selected based on their relative performance regarding past predictions of temperature and precipitation at the level of 2o x 2o grid cells, generated by a recently developed entropy-based downscaling model. Based on past performance, the effects of temperature and precipitation across the 17 GCMs are incorporated into a global hydrological model that is linked with IFPRI’s IMPACT water and food projections model to assess the effects of climate change on food outcomes for the region. For Sub-Saharan Africa, the paper finds that the CCC scenario predicts consistently higher temperatures and mixed precipitation changes for the 2050 period. Compared to historic climate scenarios, climate change will lead to changes in yield and area growth, higher food prices and therefore lower affordability of food, reduced calorie availability, and growing childhood malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Author: 
Ringler, Claudia
Zhu, Tingju
Cai, Ximing
Koo, Jawoo
Wang, Dingbao
Published date: 
2010
Publisher: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Series number: 
1042
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