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It is imperative that we breed new varieties of plants to make agriculture more sustainable, given increasing food demand and a warming climate. Until recently, mutations and classical breeding techniques were sufficient to breed new varieties. At the end of the 20th century, tissue culture, gene transfer, and other molecular biologic developments entered the picture. In the past decade, a variation on mutation has emerged. We now see thousands of new plant varieties that were bread using artificial mutation with X or gamma rays or colchicine application. A mutation is a spontaneous or purposeful change in one of the genes of a living organism.

Read more: Countering the impact of climate change through new breeding techniques

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Many people are already facing the impacts of a changing climate and need help adjusting now, world leaders assert.

Read more: Bill Gates launches effort to help the world adapt to climate change

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Climate Change Undermining Global Efforts to Eradicate Hunger

UNITED NATIONS. The United Nations warned last month that the accelerating impacts of climate change—“already clearly visible today”– have triggered an unpredictable wave of natural disasters– including extreme heatwaves, wildfires, storms, and floods during the course of this year.

“If we do not change course by 2020”, cautions UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us.”

Coincidentally, his warning was followed by the [annual 2018 report] by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) which singled out climate change as one of the primary factors responsible for the rise in global hunger – and for the third consecutive year in 2017.

Along with military conflicts and global economic meltdowns, climate change is a driving force in the rise in global hunger while extreme weather, land degradation, desertification, water scarcity, and rising sea levels—are collectively undermining global efforts to eradicate hunger.

As the UN continues to express concern over rising natural disasters worldwide, the world body is taking an active role in New York City’s “Climate Change Week” which is scheduled to conclude Sunday September 30—and takes place in the margins of the 73rd sessions of the UN General Assembly where more than 125 world political leaders are due to speak this week.

A primary focus of Climate Change Week will be the number of climate-related disasters, which have doubled since the early 1990s, with an average of 213 of these events occurring every year during the period of 1990–2016, according to FAO.

Asked about the severity of climate change on food security, Cindy Holleman, Senior Economist at FAO, told IPS the number of extreme climate-related disaster events has doubled since the early 1990s (extreme heat, droughts, floods, and storms) – “which means we now experience on average 213 medium and large climate-related catastrophic events every year”.

Read more: Climate Change Undermining Global Efforts to Eradicate Hunger

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