Extreme Weather and Food Shocks

09 September 2015

Rob BaileyRob Bailey Research Director, Energy, Environment and Resources

Tim Benton Professor of Population Ecology, University of Leeds

Taking smart and practical steps to ease the impact of the changing climate on food supplies is vital to ride out the droughts and storms that will impact food prices.

The US midwest was hit by its worst drought in over 50 years in 2012. Photo via Getty Images.The US midwest was hit by its worst drought in over 50 years in 2012. Photo via Getty Images.

chathamhouse – Recent events highlight concerns about the risks to global food security posed by changing patterns of extreme weather affecting the world’s ‘breadbasket’ regions such as the American midwest, South America’s southern cone, the Black Sea and the Yangtze River valley. In 2012, the worst drought to hit the US midwest in half a century sent international maize and soybean prices to record levels. In 2011, wheat prices nearly doubled after an unprecedented heat wave devastated the Russian harvest. The global food price crisis of 2007-08 had its roots in a run of poor harvests in previous years.

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