Comprendre les enjeux de l'agriculture

A study published on 14 February in the journal Science by an international consortium of researchers, including those of the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE), raises the alarm about the effects of climate change on aridity. Its findings include:

“Aridity – the balance between precipitation and evapotranspiration – is severely restricting ecosystems’ productive capacities. Currently, land surfaces said to be arid cover 41% of the planet** and are home to one in three of its people. Climate change scenarios anticipate a major worldwide increase in aridity, which will exacerbate the water deficits these regions are already experiencing and extend their influence into ecosystems not currently affected by these conditions. Scientists had been working on the assumption that a regular and continuous increase in aridity would make ecosystems progressively less green and fertile, and landscapes more desert-like. The study presents a more worrying scenario: growing aridity could change the way ecosystems function abruptly and rapidly if some aridity thresholds are crossed. These threshold effects trigger an irreversible drop-off in ecosystem functionality, such as a fall in soil fertility, increased erosion, and lower production of food and biomass.”

Source: INRAE