Close window

Food insecurity and climate change

An interactive online map created by the Met Office and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) paints a picture of how climate change may affect global hunger in the future.

Impacts of climate change can increase hunger by destroying land, livestock, crops and food supplies, and make it harder for people to access markets and food networks. Climate disasters affect hungry and vulnerable people disproportionately so even a minor weather event can cause a food crisis for vulnerable households.

The Food Insecurity and Climate Change map shows how adaptation and mitigation could prevent the worst impacts of climate change on hunger globally and help make people less vulnerable to food insecurity.

The interactive online map is the result of five years collaborative research between WFP's food security experts and the Met Office Hadley Centre. The map details how climate change affects vulnerability to food insecurity in developing and least-developed countries today and, thanks to sophisticated projections, the extent climate change will affect global hunger in the future, right up to the 2080s. Currently the highest levels of vulnerability to climate-related food insecurity are in sub-Saharan Africa, medium levels across much of Asia, and lower levels in South and Central America.

Kirsty Lewis, Climate Security Science Manager at the Met Office, said: "Our joint research shows how climate change can affect the scale and geography of food insecurity, and how adaptation and mitigation can address the challenges of future food insecurity in developing and least developed countries."

Launched at the UN climate conference, COP21, held in Paris last year, the Food Insecurity and Climate Change map enables people to explore different scenarios of global greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate change. The map also sheds light on how these different scenarios could change the geography of food insecurity in developing and least-developed countries.

Ertharin Cousin, WFP Executive Director said: "This map paints a stark picture of how climate disasters drive hunger. This research also reveals a more hopeful future depending on the choices we make - we must help vulnerable people adapt and build their resilience to climate change, while also investing in a low carbon future."