PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Informing policy for long-term global food security

2021-07-22
(Press-News.org) More than 820 million people in the world don't have enough to eat, while climate change and increasing competition for land and water are further raising concerns about the future balance between food demand and supply. The results of a new IIASA-led study can be used to benchmark global food security projections and inform policy analysis and public debate on the future of food.

Despite the fact that food supply has increased dramatically since the 1960s, the question of how to eradicate global hunger - one of the Sustainable Development Goals - and feed the growing world population in years to come, remains a major challenge. Climate change and increasing competition for land and water are further exacerbating the problem, making the need for effective policies to ensure global food security and a better understanding of the main driving forces of global hunger ever more urgent.

Scientists typically use quantified global scenarios and projections to assess long-term future global food security under a range of socioeconomic and climate change scenarios. However, due to differences in model design and scenario assumptions, there is uncertainty about the range of food security projections and outcomes. To address this uncertainty, IIASA guest researcher Michiel van Dijk and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to assess the range of future global food security projections to 2050. Their study, which has been published in the journal Nature Food, focused on two key food security indicators: future food demand, which is a key driver of a required increase in food production, and associated impacts on land use change, biodiversity and climate change, and population at risk of hunger - an indicator of the number of people that face chronic food insecurity.

"Our study aimed to determine the range of future global food demand and population at risk of hunger projections to 2050. To answer this question, we analyzed 57 studies published between 2000 and 2018. We harmonized all projections and mapped them into the five highly divergent but plausible socioeconomic futures, including sustainable, business-as-usual, divided world, inequality, and conventional development scenarios," van Dijk explains.

The study's findings provide strong support for the view that food demand will increase by between 35% and 56% over the period 2010-2050, mainly due to population growth, economic development, urbanization, and other drivers. If climate change is taken into account, the range changes slightly, but overall with no statistical differences. Although less dramatic than the need to double current production as commonly stated in many other studies, the increase in demand may still have negative impacts on the environment and lead to biodiversity loss. In order to prevent such impacts, increases in food production would need to be accompanied by policies and investments that promote sustainable intensification and incorporate ecological principles in agricultural systems and practices, while also reducing food loss and waste and encouraging a shift towards more plant-based diets.

In the most negative scenarios, the population at risk of hunger is expected to increase by 8% (30% when the impact of climate change is considered) over the 2010-2050 period, which implies that the Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger and achieving food security will not be achieved. To prevent this, the researchers urge policymakers to work proactively to develop adequate long-term measures, including stimulating inclusive growth.

"Our study can fuel the public debate on the future of food by inviting every citizen to imagine and discuss a wider range of food future scenarios, rather than just a binary choice between business-as-usual and the universal adoption of organic agriculture or vegan diets. To think responsibility and creatively about the future, we need to envision multiple plausible scenarios and evaluate their consequences," notes study co-author Yashar Saghai, a researcher at the University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands.

Although the study did not explicitly investigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers say that it is plausible that their range also includes the now more likely negative COVID-induced futures that are associated with an increase in the population at risk of hunger, instead of a decrease of around 50% that was considered the pre-COVID business-as-usual.

"While it is too early to oversee and understand the full impact and consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, current developments show some resemblance to the most negative archetype scenarios in our analysis, which is characterized by slow economic development, a focus on domestic security and national sovereignty, and increasing inequality. This implies a potential significant increase in the number of population at risk of hunger between 2010 and 2050 in the worst case. Recent developments, underscore the need for (quantitative) scenario analysis and comparison as a tool to inform policy analysis, coordination, and planning for the future of food as well as wider societal issues," van Dijk concludes.

INFORMATION:

The authors have created a dashboard to visualize the scenarios, which is also referenced in the paper under data availability and can be accessed here: https://michielvandijk.shinyapps.io/gfsp_db_dashboard/

Reference van Dijk, M., Morley, T., Rau, M.L., & Saghai, Y. (2021). A meta-analysis of global food demand and population at risk of hunger projections for the period 2010-2050. Nature Food DOI: 10.1038/s43016-021-00322-9

Contacts:

Researcher contact Michiel van Dijk
Guest Research Scholar
Integrated Biosphere Futures Research Group
Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program
Tel: +43 2236 807 537
vandijkm@iiasa.ac.at

Press Officer Ansa Heyl
IIASA Press Office
Tel: +43 2236 807 574
Mob: +43 676 83 807 574
heyl@iiasa.ac.at

About IIASA:

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an international scientific institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental, economic, technological, and social change that we face in the twenty-first century. Our findings provide valuable options to policymakers to shape the future of our changing world. IIASA is independent and funded by prestigious research funding agencies in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. http://www.iiasa.ac.at



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Cannabidiol promotes oral ulcer healing by inactivating CMPK2-mediated NLRP3 inflammasome

2021-07-22
Alexandria, Va., USA - Xingying Qi, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, presented the oral session "Cannabidiol Promotes Oral Ulcer Healing by Inactivating CMPK2-Mediated NLRP3 Inflammasome" at the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021. The oral ulcer is a common oral inflammatory lesion with severe pain but little ...

Longitudinal serological and vaccination responses to SARS-COV-2 in dental professionals

2021-07-22
Alexandria, Va., USA - Iain Chapple, University of Birmingham, England, presented the oral session "Longitudinal Serological and Vaccination Responses to SARS-COV-2 in Dental Professionals" at the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted ...

New study reports strong indications of freshened groundwater offshore the Maltese Islands

New study reports strong indications of freshened groundwater offshore the Maltese Islands
2021-07-22
An international team of scientists has reported strong indications of freshened groundwater offshore the coastline between Valletta and Marsascala, in the south-east of Malta. This discovery is based on an oceanographic expedition carried out in 2018. Seismic reflection profiles acquired during this expedition were used to generate a geological model of the seafloor offshore the Maltese Islands, whereas electromagnetic surveying was carried out to identify resistivity anomalies, or high values of electromagnetic resistivity beneath the seafloor. These observations indicate that freshened groundwater occurs as an isolated body hosted in Globigerina Limestone located 3 ...

Burden of oral diseases in emerging countries: A prediction model

2021-07-22
Alexandria, Va., USA - Jiachen Lin, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass., USA., presented the poster "Burden of Oral Diseases in Emerging Countries: A Prediction Model" at the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021. The goal of this study was to investigate the burden of oral diseases and predict trends by 2025 in the U.S. and emerging countries. Global Burden of Disease data from 1990-2017 was used to analyze the prevalence and disability-adjusted life years of oral diseases ...

Generation and application of the high-Q resonance in all-dielectric metasurfaces

Generation and application of the high-Q resonance in all-dielectric metasurfaces
2021-07-22
In a new publication from Opto-Electronic Advances; DOI 10.29026/oea.2021.200030 , Researchers led by Professor Liu Yan from Xidian University, China and Professor Gan Xuetao from Northwestern Polytechnical University, China consider generation and application of the high-Q resonance in all-dielectric metasurfaces. Metamaterials are artificial composite electromagnetic structures consisting of subwavelength units, which can realize efficient and flexible control of the electromagnetic waves. Metamaterials are an emerging research area for optoelectronics, physics, chemistry and materials, due to their novel ...

Cardio-cerebrovascular disease history complicates hematopoietic cell transplant outcomes

Cardio-cerebrovascular disease history complicates hematopoietic cell transplant outcomes
2021-07-22
Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a recognized treatment option for certain blood and bone marrow cancers as well as some autoimmune and hereditary disorders. Performed to replace or modulate the body's malfunctioning hematopoietic system (which produces blood cells) or a compromised immune system following a medical condition or treatment, HCT can be autologous or allogenic. In autologous HCT, a patient's own stem cells are injected into the bloodstream, while in allogenic HCT donor stem cells are used. Although a difficult procedure, over the years, the safety of HCT has been improved ...

UCI scientists make X-ray vision-like camera to rapidly retrieve 3D images

UCI scientists make X-ray vision-like camera to rapidly retrieve 3D images
2021-07-22
Irvine, Calif., July 21, 2021 -- It's not exactly X-ray vision, but it's close. In research published in the journal Optica, University of California, Irvine researchers describe a new type of camera technology that, when aimed at an object, can rapidly retrieve 3D images, displaying its chemical content down to the micrometer scale. The new tech promises to help companies inspect things like the insides of computer chips without having to pry them open -- an advancement the researchers say could accelerate the production time of such goods by more than a hundred times. "This is a paper about a way to visualize things in 3D very fast, even at video rate," said Dmitry Fishman - director of laser spectroscopy labs in the UCI Department of ...

'Backpacking' hedgehogs take permanent staycation

Backpacking hedgehogs take permanent staycation
2021-07-22
New University of Otago research has been examining how alpine-based hedgehogs hibernate from a different perspective - their backs. Dr Nick Foster from the Department of Zoology has been involved with the Te Manahuna Aoraki project and has been attaching small transmitting 'backpacks' onto hedgehogs in the Mackenzie Basin's alpine zones. The mammals are considered pests in New Zealand for the damage they cause to native insects and wildlife throughout the country. The goal of this study, which has just been published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology, was to find out whether hedgehogs, which can be found up to 2000 metres in summer, travel ...

Scientists provide new insight on how to stop transcription of cancer cells

2021-07-22
FINDINGS Scientists from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a key protein, transcription factor TAF12, that plays a critical role in the formation of a preinitiation complex, which consists of over one hundred proteins that are necessary for the transcription of protein-coding genes. The team found by eliminating TAF12, the entire preinitiation complex is destroyed and the genome-wide transcription is downregulated drastically. The findings could help pave the way for cancer therapies that target TAF12, potentially stopping transcription in cancer cells and helping decrease the growth of cancerous tumors. TAF12 had previously been shown by ...

Fully renewable energy feasible for Samoa - Otago study

2021-07-22
The future of Samoa's electricity system could go green, a University of Otago study has shown. Pacific Island nations are particularly susceptible to climate change and face high costs and energy security issues from imported fossil fuels. For these reasons many Pacific Island nations have developed ambitious 100 per cent renewable energy targets. However, they have not been subject to rigorous peer-reviewed studies to help develop these targets and pathways for achieving them in the same way as more developed countries. To meet this need, Otago Energy Science and Technology Masters student Tupuivao Vaiaso mapped future scenarios for Samoa's electricity system by carefully balancing renewable supply and electricity demand. The study, published in Renewable ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Scientists model 'true prevalence' of COVID-19 throughout pandemic

New breakthrough to help immune systems in the fight against cancer

Through the thin-film glass, researchers spot a new liquid phase

Administering opioids to pregnant mice alters behavior and gene expression in offspring

Brain's 'memory center' needed to recognize image sequences but not single sights

Safety of second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines after first-dose allergic reactions

Changes in disparities in access to care, health after Medicare eligibility

Use of high-risk medications among lonely older adults

65+ and lonely? Don't talk to your doctor about another prescription

Exosome formulation developed to deliver antibodies for choroidal neovascularization therapy

Second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose found safe following allergic reactions to first dose

Plant root-associated bacteria preferentially colonize their native host-plant roots

Rare inherited variants in previously unsuspected genes may confer significant risk for autism

International experts call for a unified public health response to NAFLD and NASH epidemic

International collaboration of scientists rewrite the rulebook of flowering plant genetics

Improving air quality reduces dementia risk, multiple studies suggest

Misplaced trust: When trust in science fosters pseudoscience

Two types of blood pressure meds prevent heart events equally, but side effects differ

New statement provides path to include ethnicity, ancestry, race in genomic research

Among effective antihypertensive drugs, less popular choice is slightly safer

Juicy past of favorite Okinawan fruit revealed

Anticipate a resurgence of respiratory viruses in young children

Anxiety, depression, burnout rising as college students prepare to return to campus

Goal-setting and positive parent-child relationships reduce risk of youth vaping

New research identifies cancer types with little survival improvements in adolescents and young adul

Oncotarget: Replication-stress sensitivity in breast cancer cells

Oncotarget: TERT and its binding protein: overexpression of GABPA/B in gliomas

Development of a novel technology to check body temperature with smartphone camera

The mechanics of puncture finally explained

Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado's subalpine forests

[Press-News.org] Informing policy for long-term global food security