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This is climate change: Floods, Fighting and Famines

on May 16, 2017

This is climate change.

Earlier than usual rainfall in Bangladesh that flooded 400,000 hectares of agricultural land in the country’s northeast destroyed 2 million tonnes of rice, sending the price of the staple crop soaring at the market and raising of a food shortage.

The government has started to make emergency plans to make up for the shortfall, but the incident is just the latest example of how climate change is impacting weather patterns, food security, and the budgets of poor and developing countries that struggle even under the best of circumstances.

Just Monday the United Nations made an appeal on for at least 1.4 billion USD to help those fleeing war and famine in South Sudan, conflict and food crisis both linked to record droughts in the region of Africa.

Food shocks related to extreme weather have been linked to the political unrest that gave rise to the Arab Spring and ongoing civil war in Syria. All of these conflicts have created refugees that have overwhelmed the ability of international agencies to respond.

Small Island Developing States have also faced food insecurity in recent years as droughts struck coconut and breadfruit harvests in the Western Pacific and a series of recent cyclones tore through plantations and agricultural areas in Fiji, RMI, and Vanuatu.

Most island states are also highly dependent on fisheries and warming waters have been driving key stocks toward cooler latitudes, and out of range of subsistence fishers.

All the more reason for world leaders concerned about international security and the refugee crisis to take climate change seriously, phase out fossil fuels that are at the root of the crises, and help the international community prepare for impacts that can no longer be avoided.

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