Dec 9, 2013
Brazil Faces Drops in Crops
Posted on Sep 8, 2013
By Jan Rocha, Climate News Network
The federal government’s successful poverty reduction programme, Bolsa Familia, will not be enough to stop a renewal of migration from the rural area to the cities, worsening infrastructure problems related to housing, transport and sanitation.
The PBMC report foresees that climate change in Brazil will also bring an increase in fungal diseases and pests, caused by the rise of CO² levels in the air and ultraviolet B radiation. In addition to cereals, fruit crops such as banana, mango and grape will be hit.
The report also says that more, and more intense, episodes of flooding and drought could alter the volume of the rivers and affect the supply of water to dam reservoirs. Hydropower accounts for well over half of Brazil’s energy.
Biodiversity will be badly affected, including that of aquatic environments. Some biomes, characterised by a dominant vegetation, have already lost large areas because of intensive agriculture ? the cerrado has lost 47% and the caatinga 44% ? and it is now questionable whether their ecological equilibrium can be restored.
The researchers want their report to be used to guide the drawing up and implementation of public policies for climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as to help companies in their future planning.
The report, the first by the PBMC, also marks Brazil’s acceptance by the IPCC as a nation supplying projections on a planetary scale. This is because it has developed its own climate simulation model, the Brazilian Earth System Model (BESM) ? the only country in the southern hemisphere to do so.
The establishment of the BESM has enabled the scientists to reconstruct recent occurrences of the El Niño climate phenomenon ? caused by abnormal heating up of the surface waters of the equatorial Pacific, which affects the rainfall regime in a large part of the planet ? and simulate the effects of future El Niños.
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