Hunger will kill 500,000 people by 2050, due to climate change

Uno studio dell’università di Oxford stima per la prima volta il numero di decessi che il clima provocherà facendo mancare sufficienti quantità di cibo.

The impact of climate change on food production will be responsible for over half a million deaths by 2050, a study carried out by the University of Oxford and published in The Lancet magazine reveals.

Numerous analyses showed that the average global temperature rise will lead to a significant increase in extreme weather conditions, including drought, floods and typhoons. These, in turn, will be responsible for a drop in the total amount of agricultural production, as well as they will exacerbate the instability of foodstuffs’ prices, threatening the world’s poorest populations.

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Climate change will exacerbate extreme weather conditions, including drought ©Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Fruit and vegetables will become rarer and rarer

The report is the first to estimate the “price” in terms of human lives. “Our results show that even modest reductions in the availability of food per person could lead to changes in the energy content and composition of diets,” said lead author Marco Springmann. “And these changes will have major consequences for health”.

If no effective measures to safeguard the environment are implemented, a 3.2% decrease will be registered by 2050: especially, there will be fewer fruit and vegetables available (-4%), while meat availability will drop by 0.7%, compared to 2010 levels.

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©Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

February probably broke a new record for global temperatures

The future scenario seems to be scary. Data on temperatures registered over the past few months on ocean and land surface show a long succession of records. Levels registered in February haven’t been officially released yet, but meteorologist Eric Holthaus revealed: “Usually my climate journalist colleagues and I wait until the official data, but this month’s data is so extraordinary that there’s no need to wait: February obliterated the all-time global temperature record set just in January”.

According to figures provided by Holthaus, February 2016 was likely somewhere between 1.15 and 1.4 degrees warmer than the long-term average, and about 0.2 degrees above last month.

Cover photo: ©Oli Scarff/Getty Images

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