An article from Reuters highlights the challenges farmers in Mexico and Central America face as climate change becomes a reality that affects their very livelihoods. The article references several recent studies, including “Tortillas on the Roaster,” written by Catholic Relief Services, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). The article also quotes CRS staffer Michael Sheridan, an expert in development and coffee growing.
MEXICO CITY, Dec 19 (Reuters) – A growing body of scientific evidence ranks Mexico and its southern neighbors near the top of the list of countries most vulnerable to global warming, and advances in micro-forecasting foresee a grim future in alarming detail.
According to two new studies, a deadly combination of warmer weather and less rainfall in the years ahead will devastate yields of traditional crops like corn and beans, as well as the region’s market-critical coffee harvest.
The ultra-local projections with shorter time horizons – as soon as the 2020s – include color-coded maps that for the first time provide virtually farm-specific climate change predictions, an innovation scientists hope will convince local stakeholders to plan accordingly.
That could mean switching to new seeds, shifting to hardier crops, or even abandoning long-established family farms.