Food is just about the most important need for all humans to survive (only atmospheric oxygen is more important). Food security is when everyone has access to a sustainable, healthy, safe, abundant and economic means to acquire food. To achieve food security, all these factors must remain consistent over time.Food insecurity occurs when any of these factors fail to occur. The food system governs food security. This system includes the production, transportation, trade, storage, packing, sales, consumption and disposal of food globally. However with growing population and climate change, the food system and thus food security is at risk worldwide.
Human activities, mostly due to the burning of fossil fuels (but also deforestation and land use changes), are driving changes to the climate. Rapid changes in global temperatures due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations are affecting precipitation and soil moisture globally. Food availability, access, utilization and stability are factors that are slowly becoming affected by climate change.
As climate has been affecting world food production, agricultural adaptation has become a major influence on maintaining food security. Adaptation involves steps and procedures taken to reduce the impacts of climate change on agriculture and to evolve with the changing climate. The capacity for a society to adapt depends on their socioeconomic strength. However adaptation can only go so far. Adaptation capacity is different depending on the area and society. A wealthier society can adapt to the changing climate while a poorer society could not. For example some areas are becoming increasingly too hot to sustain crops, in other areas it may be difficult and expensive to acquire enough water to balance the rise in temperatures. See figures 2-4 for more details on how adaptation is lessening the effects of climate change.
Agricultural adaptation will help prevent the worst impact of climate change, but will have trouble cancelling out the effects of climate change. The maps below (figures 2, 3 and 4) show how climate change will make people more vulnerable to food shortages. These maps were made with the interactive map from the has an World Food Programme. Try out different scenarios that shows how different factors arising from climate change are affecting food security globally and annually.