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Item #d97jan89

Dividing the Waters: Food Security, Ecosystem Health, and the New Politics of Scarcity (Worldwatch Paper 132), S. Postel, 76 pp., Sep. 1996, $5 (Worldwatch).

A growing scarcity of, and competition for fresh water is now a major impediment to food security, ecosystem health, social stability, and peace. Although water is renewable it is also finite, and the amount that can be sustainably supplied to farmers is nearing its limits.

Item #d97jan90

Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change: Issues of Longrun Sustainability (Agric. Econ. Rep. 740), D. Schimmelpfennig, J. Lewandrowski et al., 57 pp., June 1996, $12 (ERS/NASS). A catalog of products and services is also available.

A report from the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Early evaluations of the effects of climate change on agriculture, which did not account for economic adjustments or consider the broader economic and environmental implications of such changes, overestimated the negative effects of climate change. This report of ERS research focuses on economic adaptation and concludes there is considerably more sectoral flexibility and adaptability than found in other analyses and that increases in supply will keep pace with increases in demand. Although these predictions may be the best available now, they are subject to great uncertainty, in particular with regard to assumed rates of productivity increase in agriculture and real income and population growth.

Item #d97jan91

World Agriculture and Climate Change: Economic Adaptations (Agric. Econ. Rep. 703), R. Darwin, T. Tsigas et al., 86 pp., June 1995, $12 (ERS/NASS). Limited copies may also be available from D. Royster, ERS Info. Services, USDA, 1301 New York Ave. NW, Washington DC 20005 (fax: 202 219 0112).

A comprehensive, economically consistent projection of how climate change might alter the location and intensity of farming. Although potential climate change may affect agriculture, and impacts will not be equally distributed worldwide, world food production is not expected to be imperiled because of adaptation by farmers. This study directly links detailed climate projections with distributions of land and water resources, and estimates the effects in the major resource-using sectors (crop, livestock, forestry). In the U.S., losses in soil moisture may reduce agricultural production in the Corn Belt and the Southwest.

Item #d97jan92

Planning for a Sustainable Future: The Case of the North American Great Plains — Symposium Summary (CCD 96-01), 13 pp., 1996 (Atmos. Environ. Service). To purchase the complete proceedings contact Intl. Drought Info. Ctr., address also below.

This region is a critical environmental zone where the impacts of climate change are likely to be more severe and to materialize more rapidly than in less fragile ecosystems. Conferees, from many stake holder groups, were asked to develop recommendations for future action and policy-relevant research that would lead the region toward a sustainable future. Several recommendations were made.

Item #d97jan93

The Impact of Climate Change on Food and Livelihood Security: An Agenda for Action, Dec. 1995. Contact M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Third Cross St., Institutional Area (CPT Campus), Taramani, Madras 600113 India (tel: 91 44 235 1229; fax: 91 44 235 1319; e-mail:

An international workshop, led by the above contact and the Climate Institute (Dec. 1995, Madras), with sessions covering climate change scenarios for South Asia, implications of climate change for East Asia, and mobilizing society and corporations to address these issues. Working groups then discussed and made recommendations on climate change and food security, sea level rise and coastal ecosystems, and climate and energy. They agreed that heat-resistant crops varieties are needed, and that methane concentrations above rice fields should be monitored.

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