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Impact and Adaptation to Climate Change

climate agri poverty vulnerabilityThis World Bank research focuses on climate-agriculture-poverty nexus and ways to assess impacts and adaptation. This project focuses on the poverty impact of changing climate volatility in Southern and Eastern Africa.
 Researchers  |  Related Links |  Research Outputs 

Agriculture is particularly sensitive to climate volatility, and as the frequency and intensity of climate extremes increase, crop production damages from such events will change. Recent studies have highlighted the significant impact that extreme climate events may have on the agricultural output in the tropics and subtropics and subsequently on food security in developing countries. The poor are particularly sensitive to changes in the agricultural sector, both because the majority of the poor rely---either directly or indirectly---on agriculture for their livelihood, and because they spend a large share of their income on food.

This project examines the poverty impact of changing climate volatility primarily in Southern and Eastern Africa, as well as the wider developing world. It integratings climate analyses from general circulation models with statistical analyses of agricultural response and economic simulation modeling to present integrated analyses of the response of poor communities to changes in climate volatility. It will also explore the potential for government policies to focus attention on the lower tails of these poverty distributions. Such analyses will be new not only for Africa, but also for other regions of the world.

Thus, in order to develop policies and infrastructure to cope with increased frequency of extreme climate events, we must understand

  • how global warming affects climate volatility (both globally and locally)
  • how changes in climate volatility affect agricultural output (as well as other economic opportunities, including trade and migration)
  • and how all of these changes affect poverty.
 Related Links
 Research Outputs

Climate volatility deepens poverty vulnerability in developing countries,” S. A. Ahmed, N.S. Diffenbaugh, and T.W. Hertel, Environmental Research Letters 4/034004, 2009.

Extreme climate events could influence poverty by affecting agricultural productivity and
raising prices of staple foods that are important to poor households in developing countries. With the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events predicted to change in the future, informed policy design and analysis requires an understanding of which countries and groups are going to be most vulnerable to increasing poverty. Using a novel economic-climate analysis framework, we assess the poverty impacts of climate volatility for seven socio-economic groups in 16 developing countries. We find that extremes under present climate volatility increase poverty across our developing country sample—particularly in Bangladesh, Mexico, Indonesia, and Africa—with urban wage earners the most vulnerable group. We also find that global warming exacerbates poverty vulnerability in many nations.

 Policy Research Working Papers 
For more policy research working papers from the World Bank's institutional archives, search here using author’s last name, title or working paper number (“wpsxxxx”).
WPS6262The cost structure of the clean development mechanismRahman, Shaikh M.; Larson, Donald F.; Dinar, Ariel2012/11
WPS6188Climate change, agriculture and food security in TanzaniaArndt, Channing; Farmer, William; Strzepek, Kenneth; Thurlow, James2012/09
WPS6080Aligning climate change mitigation and agricultural policies in Eastern Europe and Central AsiaLarson, Donald F.; Dinar, Ariel; Blankespoor, Brian2012/06
WPS5239Will the clean development mechanism mobilize anticipated levels of mitigation ?Rahman, Shaikh M.; Dinar, Ariel; Larson, Donald F.2010/03
WPS5117Climate volatility and poverty vulnerability in TanzaniaAhmed , Syud Amer; Diffenbaugh, Noah S.; Hertel , Thomas W.; Lobell, David B.; Ramankutty, Navin; Rios, Ana R.; Rowhani, Pedram2009/11

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