Welcome to SEARCA Knowledge Center on Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management in Southeast Asia (KC3)

Science for A Hungry World

This is a six-part series produced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This video discusses "How Climate Change will impact agriculture"

[Music begins]

Narrator: Climate change is already affecting global food production. And it will probably have even more of an impact in years to come. Carbon dioxide, or CO2, a major greenhouse gas, is a primary cause of global warming. Human activity provides a major source of CO2 in our atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. The rate of increase in global warming due to greenhouse gases is very likely unprecedented within the past 10,000 years or more. But plants use carbon dioxide to grow, so shouldn't warmer temperatures and more carbon dioxide be a good thing for agriculture?

Cynthia Rosenzweig: If it were just the carbon dioxide going up in the atmosphere, agriculture would, all the crops would just smiling and saying great, because high CO2 is good for photosynthesis. So in and of itself it would be good.

Compton Tucker: Climate has an effect upon agriculture in several ways. One would be in the case of the far north, you may have a longer growing season. So areas presently where you can't grow certain crops because it's too cold or the growing season is too short you might be able to grow these crops there as conditions warm up in those areas.

Cynthia Rosenzweig: When we then add in the other effects of climate change, let's first just talk about higher temperatures, then the story becomes more mixed.

Narrator: While a warmer climate might mean some new growing regions, our major agricultural areas will likely face losses. Scientists predict that in many areas on earth, there will be more drought, more fires and warmer temperatures. While a few places may experience cooler temperatures, more rainfall or more intense flooding. 

Cynthia Rosenzweig: Vulnerability to climate is uneven across the world. The agricultural studies show that in the mid- and high-latitudes, the agriculture there should actually be ok for at least a while. before the really big temperature changes set in. But in the low latitudes, where it's hot already, and where there are more arid areas, that cimate change will affect those agricultural systems negatively right from the beginning. 

Narrator: Because the vast majority of developing countries are located near the equator, these already vulnerable populations are right in the bulls-eye of climate change. In the next 40 years, there could be two billion more people to feed. Much of this population growth is expected to impact countries already facing food security issues. So climate change threatens to exacerbate their risk for inhospitable growing conditions and lack of access to food.

Compton Tucker: Our population is increasing and yet the land on which crops can be grown is not.

Molly Brown: We really have plateaued in our ability to expand yields globally. And so in all the places where we have extremely highly productive systems, those regions are only able to increase their yields by 3 or 4 percent, and while our populations is growing by 8 or 9 percent.

Narrator: Climate change undoubtedly affects us all. So our responses need to be global in nature. NASA satellites give us a big picture, continuous view of our changing climate and how it is already affecting us as a species.

Cynthia Rosenzweig: By providing free satellite data to anyone around the world, NASA is playing a tremendous role for understanding of agricultural production. Scientists in their own countries can be managing their agricultural systems as the climate is changing.

Compton Tucker: It's important to have these data in a continuous way, because the more data you have, then you know the behavior with respect to time. So the continuity, or the continuum, of the data becomes really, really important.

Narrator: NASA satellites provide crucial observations about how our home planet is changing. Continued data from these satellite missions provide information that humanity will need in order to face the challenges of climate change head-on.

Source: NASA

More Videos

  • Sting of Climate Change

    By comparing bee data to satellite imagery, NASA research scientist Wayne Esaias uses honey bees as tiny data collectors to understand how climate change is affecting pollination and plants.
  • Bhutan: Tsunami from the Sky

    We all know that climate change is causing the polar ice-cap to shrink, threatening small islands with extinction and devastating populations with drought. But how many of us have heard of a tsunami from the sky? That is what is threatenin
  • The One Video to Watch on Climate, If You Have Just 3 Minutes

    A collaborative project between Dr Rupert Read of the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Greg Craven, creator of "The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See. Source:
  • Rain Water Harvesting: a community based adaptation option

    Scarcity of safe drinking water is one of the major problems in saline prone coastal and drought affected north-western regions of Bangladesh. This problem will be aggravated further in future by the climate change impacts. Rainwater harve
  • Weather-Resistant Rice

    The Philippines Produce Extreme Weather-Resistant Rice Millions of people around the world depend on rice for their survival. But climate change is beginning to take a toll on traditional crops, forcing scientists
  • Horticulture in a Changing Climate

    David Wolfe delivers the September 20, 2010 Department of Horticulture seminar on "Climate Change and Agriculture: Impacts, Adaptatio
  • The Life Cycle of a Plastic Bottle

    Stay informed this #EarthDay by understanding what really hap
  • Greening the dry zone of Myanmar

    UNDP Myanmar video looks at a project that the organization is working on in collaboration with the country's government in the driest region in
  • Mermaids hate plastic

    A sea of plastic was interesting and sad, but it needed something unique and beautiful to truly standout. What more unique and beautiful to represent the ocean than a mermaid? Source: Von Wong
  • Why humans are so bad at thinking about climate change

    The biggest problem for the climate change fight isn’t technology – it’s human psychology. In psychology, fear/guilt is not conducive to engagement, it makes people passive. When people felt fear or guilt, it makes them withdraw from th
  • Climate Change According to a Kid

    Don't get climate change? Watch an animation explaining the phenomenon as a 12-year-old would. Source: Rappler
  • What Asia would look like if all the Earth's ice melted

    If all the Earth's land ice melted, sea levels would rise over 200 feet. So what would that mean for Asia's coastlines? Source: Business Insider Science
  • We Know Enough about Climate Change

    The film focuses on the process of adaptation to climate change from a development perspective. We developed it for training programs and conferences in the target countries including Indonesia, Tunisia and Mexico. It premiered in 2011 at the UN-C
  • Rappler's #TalkThursday with Lucille Sering

    MANILA, Philippines - Rappler speaks with Secretary Lucille Sering of the Climate Change Commission. A long time environmental advocate, Sering entered government in 2007 as a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) undersec
  • ADSS: Ecotown Approach to Climate Change-Adaptive Local Government Planning in Selected Municipalities in the Philippines

    During SEARCA ADSS on April 25, 2017, Dr. Diomedes A. Racelis talked about the "Ecotown Approach to Climate Change-Adaptive Local Government Planning in Selected Municipalities in the Philippines." Dr. Diomedes A Racelis is a Professor and