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Pinpoint Climate Studies Flag Trouble for Mexico, CenAm farmers

December 26, 2012 by

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.

Read the full article on Alertnet.
Read the climate change report “Tortillas on the Roaster.”

2 Comments

  1. Tom O'Reilly says:

    The global warming “growing body” of experts have actually never been correct in any one of their dire forecasts. Not one! In the early days (shortly after the “growing body” of experts had abandoned their “global cooling” predictions) they began predicting 40 and 50 years into the future. But when society yawned, they began shortening it down to 20 years or so.
    But guess what? No less than three 20 year periods has come and gone and we’re still waiting for Godot.
    If CRS were truly a “Catholic” organization, they would not put their faith in Gaia (the “god” of the environmentalists), but would trust that it was God Almighty that created this environment, and that God Almighty will see that it functions the way He planned it. The global warming hoax is nothing more than a means of re-disributing income for the purpose of creating more and more government-dependent socialistic societies.

    • Jim Stipe says:

      Tom,

      Thanks for your comments about this. Do know that as a Catholic organization, we certainly don’t put our faith in Gaia. Rather, our approach to climate change is taken from the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI has been clear that the world needs to address climate change, and Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the president of Caritas Internationalis in Rome (which oversees Catholic Relief Services as a Caritas Internationalis member) said “Our climate is changing. Caritas organizations are responding to increasing unpredictability and extreme weather conditions experienced around the world. This year we saw floods in Central America, South and Southeast Asia and drought across East Africa.” (For reference, please see http://bit.ly/vxfP7R). In addition, last year (2011) the Pontifical Academy of Sciences concluded, “We call on all people and nations to recognize the serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming.” (http://bit.ly/lsHVl1)

      However, regardless of one’s view on climate change, I do hope you can agree with us on one thing: that when millions of families and farmers in Mexico and Central America struggle to grow their own food and feed their families, we should do what we can to help them. That is exactly what CRS is about, and what we have been called on to do.

      All the best,
      CRS