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Vegetation and land cover in the Arctic Vegetation and land cover in the Arctic
The land mass in the Arctic - Greenland and parts of Canada, Alaska, Russia and the Nordic countries - surrounds the Arctic Ocean. In the low Arctic, down to the temperate regions, the taiga coniferous forests represents a vast band of deep forests. North of the taiga, the tundra of the Arctic - with low vegetation, shrubs and various degrees of permafrosts spreads out. Beyond the tundra, there might be barren regions with only rock and few plant...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Fisheries in the Southern Ocean Fisheries in the Southern Ocean
Fisheries, together with tourism, represents a major economic activity around Antarctica. In the old days whales were hunted for oil - these days fish and krill are captured for fish meal and human consumption. The areas in the Southern Atlantic are vastly more productive, and this is where most of the fish is caught. The top fishing vessels hail from Japan, Ukraine and Poland. Worth mentioning is that these figures are still small compared to th...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Demography of indigenous peoples of the Arctic based on linguistic groups (major groups) Demography of indigenous peoples of the Arctic based on linguistic groups (major groups)
Areas show colours according to the original languages of the respective indigenous peoples, even if they do not speak their languages today. Notes: Overlapping populations are not shown. The map does not claim to show exact boundaries between the individual language groups. Typical colonial populations, which are not traditional Arctic populations, are not shown (Danes in Greenland, Russians in the Russian Federation, non-native Americans in Nor...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Major research stations in the Arctic Major research stations in the Arctic
The Arctic is interesting for many types of researchers. For example, glaciologists study the ice and snow, while oceanographers look at the oceans. The ice, snow and oceans in the Arctic and Antarctic affect the global climate and are presently changing as a result of global warming. Biologists research the plants and animals, which are specially adapted to the polar regions and will be some of the first in the world to be affected by climate ch...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Antarctic hole The Antarctic hole
Despite progress achieved under the Montreal Protocol, the ozone “hole” over the Antarctic was larger than ever in September 2006. This was due to particularly cold temperatures in the stratosphere, but also to the chemical stability of ozone-depleting substances – it takes about 40 years for them to break down.
31 Jul 2008 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Projected impacts of climate change Projected impacts of climate change
Global climate change may impact food production across a range of pathways (Figure 17): 1) By changing overall growing conditions (general rainfall distribution, temperature regime and carbon); 2) By inducing more extreme weather such as floods, drought and storms; and 3) By increasing extent, type and frequency of infestations, including that of invasive alien species (dealt with in a separate section).
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in population, developed and developing countries, 1750-2050 (estimates and projections) Trends in population, developed and developing countries, 1750-2050 (estimates and projections)
Each day 200,000 more people are added to the world food demand. The world’s human population has increased near fourfold in the past 100 years (UN population Division, 2007); it is projected to increase from 6.7 billion (2006) to 9.2 billion by 2050, as shown in Figure 4 (UN Population Division, 2007). It took only 12 years for the last billion to be added, a net increase of nearly 230,000 new people each day, who will need housing, food a...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Many of the largest rivers in the Himalayas Hindu Kush region are strongly dependent upon snow and glacial melt for waterflow Many of the largest rivers in the Himalayas Hindu Kush region are strongly dependent upon snow and glacial melt for waterflow
Except for the fact that glaciers are melting rapidly in many places, we do not have adequate data to more accurately project when and where water scarcity will affect irrigation schemes in full. Making accurate projections is also difficult because of variations in the effects on ground and surface water, as well as on water for urban needs and industrial purposes Furthermore, the cost of water may also increase, seriously complicating the water...
02 Feb 2009 - by Ieva Rucevska, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Biofuels production 1975-2005 (ethanol and biodiesel) Biofuels production 1975-2005 (ethanol and biodiesel)
Biofuels have grown quickly in demand and production (Figure 14), fuelled by high oil prices and the initial perception of their role in reducing CO2 emissions (FAO, 2008). Biofuels, including biodiesel from palm oil and ethanol from sugarcane, corn and soybean, accounted for about 1% of the total road transport in 2005, and may reach 25% by 2050, with the EU having set targets as high as 10% by 2020 (World Bank, 2007; FAO, 2008). For many...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Dietary change in developing countries, 1964-2030 Dietary change in developing countries, 1964-2030
As nearly half of the world’s cereal production is used to produce animal feed, the dietary proportion of meat has a major influence on global food demand (Keyzer et al., 2005). With meat consumption projected to increase from 37.4 kg/person/year in 2000 to over 52 kg/person/year by 2050 (FAO, 2006), cereal requirements for more intensive meat production may increase substantially to more than 50% of total cereal production.
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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An increasing number of countries are leasing land abroad to sustain and secure their food production An increasing number of countries are leasing land abroad to sustain and secure their food production
The world regions are sharply divided in terms of their capacity to use science in promoting agricultural productivity in order to achieve food security and reduce poverty and hunger. For every US$100 of agricultural output, developed countries spend US$2.16 on public agricultural research and development (R&D), whereas developing countries spend only US$0.55 (IFPRI, 2008). Total agricultural R&D spending in developing countries increased ...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Losses in the food chain – from field to household consumption Losses in the food chain – from field to household consumption
i.e., before conversion of food to feed. After discounting the losses, conversions and wastage at the various stages, roughly 2,800 kcal are available for supply (mixture of animal and vegetal foods) and, at the end of the chain, 2,000 kcal on average – only 43% of the potential edible crop harvest – are available for consumption. (Source: Lundqvist et al., 2008).
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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FAO Commodity Price Indices FAO Commodity Price Indices
Although production has generally increased, the rising prices coincided with extreme weather events in several major cereal producing countries, which resulted in a depletion of cereal stocks. The 2008 world cereal stocks are forecast to fall to their lowest levels in 30 years time, to 18.7% of utilization or only 66 days of food (FAO, 2008).
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in productivity 1981-2003 (greening and land degradation) Trends in productivity 1981-2003 (greening and land degradation)
Unsustainable practices in irrigation and production may lead to increased salinization of soil, nutrient depletion and erosion. An estimated 950 million ha of salt-affected lands occur in arid and semi-arid regions, nearly 33% of the potentially arable land area of the world. Globally, some 20% of irrigated land (450,000 km2) is salt-affected, with 2,500–5,000 km2 of lost production every year as a result of salinity (UNEP, 2008).
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Agricultural production increases, per commodity 1965-2008 Agricultural production increases, per commodity 1965-2008
The use of fertilizers accounts for approximately 50% of the yield increase, and greater irrigation for another substantial part (FAO, 2003). Current FAO projections in food demand suggest that cereal demand will increase by almost 50% towards 2050 (FAO, 2003; 2006). This can either be obtained by increasing yields, continued expansion of cropland by conversion of natural habitats, or by optimizing food or feed energy efficiency from produ...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Possible individual ranges of yield and cropland area losses by 2050 Possible individual ranges of yield and cropland area losses by 2050
Figure 24: Possible individual ranges of yield and cropland area losses by 2050 with climate change (A2 scenario), non-food crops incl. biofuels (six OECD scenarios), land degradation (on yield and area, respectively, see text), water scarcity (including gradual melt of Himalayas glaciers, see box and text) and pests (invasive species of weeds, pathogens and invertebrates such as insects, see text). Although these effects may be considerable, ...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in food commodity prices, compared to trends in crude oil prices (indices) Trends in food commodity prices, compared to trends in crude oil prices (indices)
The impacts of reduced food availability, higher food prices and thus lower access to food by many people have been dramatic. It is estimated that in 2008 at least 110 million people have been driven into poverty and 44 million more became undernourished (World Bank, 2008). Over 120 million more people became impoverished in the past 2–3 years.
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Potential for cropland expansion Potential for cropland expansion
Current projections suggest that an additional 120 million ha – an area twice the size of France or one-third that of India – will be needed to support the traditional growth in food production by 2030, mainly in developing countries (FAO, 2003), without considering the compensation required for certain losses. The demand for irrigated land is projected to increase by 56% in Sub- Saharan Africa (from 4.5 to 7 million ha), and rainfed land b...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Food lost Food lost
Food losses in the field (between planting and harvesting) could be as high as 20–40% of the potential harvest in developing countries due to pests and pathogens (Kader, 2005). Postharvest losses vary greatly among commodities and production areas and seasons. In the United States, the losses of fresh fruits and vegetables have been estimated to range from 2% to 23%, depending on the commodity, with an overall average of about 12% losses b...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Supermarket share of retail food sales Supermarket share of retail food sales
Large urban markets create the scope for the establishment of big supermarket chains, with implications for the entire food supply chain. In 2002, the share of supermarkets in the processed/packaged food retail market was 33% in Southeast Asia and 63% in East Asia (Figure 33). The share of supermarkets in the fresh foods market was roughly 15–20% in Southeast Asia and 30% in East Asia outside of China. The 2001 supermarket share of Chinese ...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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