Climate change disturbs the agricultural ecosystem, resulting in changes in agricultural climatic elements such as temperature, precipitation, and sunlight, while further influencing the arable, livestock, and hydrology sectors.
According to the United Nations Development Programme, climate change refers to:
the long-term changes in the Earth’s climate, beyond the increase in average surface temperature (…) [that] causes weather patterns to be less predictable, affecting the balance of ecosystems that support life and biodiversity. It also causes more extreme
weather events, such as more intense floods, heat waves, and droughts, and leads to sea level rise and coastal erosion by accelerating the melting of glaciers. UN, n.d.
Dr. Chang‐Gil in his publication describes climate change as:
changes beyond the average atmospheric condition that are caused both by natural factors such as the orbit of the earth’s revolution, volcanic activities and crustal movements and by artificial factors such as the increase in the concentration of
greenhouse gases and aerosol.
The accelerating pace of climate change and global population and income growth threaten food security everywhere. Climate change places new and more challenging demands on agricultural productivity. Crop and livestock productivity-enhancing research, including biotechnology, will be essential to help overcome stresses due to climate change. Crops and livestock are needed that are doing reasonably well in a range of production environments rather than extremely well in a narrow set of climate conditions.
This unit has been developed for the reader to get an insight into climate change and its consequences and learn about the impact of traditional and large-scale agricultural practices on climate change. This will enable the reader to become acquainted with the subject, especially by understanding the opportunities and risks of these two practices.