Effects of climate change greater than previously feared

Posted on 13 May 2016 in

The effects of climate change may be far greater for the world’s poorest people than previously feared because of the way people are managing land, according to leading environmental researchers in a new book released today.

The findings, which offer the first comprehensive synthesis of the links between global climate change and land degradation, are based on research conducted by Professor Lindsay Stringer of the Sustainabiltity Research Institute (SRI) and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) at the University of Leeds and Professor Mark Reed, Newcastle University. The study was published today by Routledge and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

In the book, the authors highlight how the interactions and feedbacks between climate change and land degradation magnify risks to people and ecosystems across the world.

Calling for a more joined-up approach to tackling land degradation and climate change, Professors Reed and Stringer say we need closer collaboration between researchers, local communities and international policy-makers to deliver timely and cost-effective solutions.

“There is a real need for urgent, integrated action,” says Prof Stringer.

“Tackling land degradation and climate change isn’t just about other people in other places. If we don’t respond now, we all risk paying a catastrophic price in terms of conflict, food insecurity and mass migration in the future.”

The findings will inform the work of the UNCCD’s Science Policy Interface and other global programmes, such as the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative that is assessing costs of action and inaction against degradation, and the first Global Land Outlook, to be published in June 2017.

Seminar: Prof Lindsay Stringer will be giving a SRI / CCCEP / Priestley Centre seminar about the new book 4.00-5.15pm on Wednesday 8th June. (Venue: School of Earth and Environment Seminar Rooms 8.119).

Reference: Land Degradation, Desertification and Climate Change: Anticipating, Assessing and Adapting to Future Change by Mark Reed and Lindsay C. Stringer is published in the wake of last year’s Paris Agreement on climate change, which will enter into force in 2020, and the agreement of new Sustainable Development Goals for up to 2030. It is published by Routledge with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

Original press Release: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/news/2016/05/deterioratingfarmland/