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The Impact of Climate Change on Food Security Research Paper

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Updated: Sep 1st, 2022

Currently, the world is beginning to encounter the effects of the continuous warming of the Earth. According to research, this phenomenon may escalate in the near future (Tokarska & Gillett, 2018). Furthermore, even if there is a significant reduction of greenhouse gasses, the rate at which climate change is occurring is practically unstoppable. An intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) report indicates that if temperature increases above 2º Celsius, the consequences would be catastrophic, especially to developing countries (Change, 2018). Third-world nations experience increased bad weather, droughts, warming of the ocean, and rising sea levels. An increase in temperature above 2º Celsius could worsen food insecurity, thereby putting several people at risk. Climate change indirectly and directly affects numerous elements of food security, especially in the livestock and agricultural sector, which are the source of employment and income in developing countries. To ensure that there is reduced climate change, both developing and developed countries must adopt the reforms required by environmental conservation organizations.

The terms climate change and global warming are frequently used interchangeably; however, global warming is among the elements of climate change. Studies define global warming as the continuous heating of the planet for a long period (Soutter & Mõttus, 2020). The result of this heat is mainly due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, which produces greenhouse gasses that trap them within the Earth’s atmosphere. On the other hand, climate change refers to long-term average weather pattern alterations that define the planet’s global, regional, and local climates (Soutter & Mõttus, 2020). Human activities are the main factors that cause global warming; however, climate change includes the burning of fossil fuels and natural processes such as La Niña, El Niño, and volcanic activities. Thus, climate change comprises global warming; however, it refers to a wider array of alterations that occur on the Earth. These include the increased ice melting in the Arctic and Greenland, shrinking glaciers, and rising sea levels.

Most people cannot differentiate between climate change and global warming for various reasons. One of the factors that cause this confusion is that they both occur after the environment has been affected after a long period. The main difference between these two phenomena is that most individuals do not know that global warming is an element of climate change. The reason for this is that human activities such as fossil fuel burning are primarily responsible for global warming. On the other hand, climate change is a consequence of both human activities and natural processes such as volcanic activities. The other reason why there exists confusion between global warming and climate change is in the way they impact the Earth. Climate change is an average of the weather patterns with a region, while global warming affects the whole planet.

The projections that state that the temperature of the Earth will keep increasing is highly credible. These predictions began in the 1900s and since then, the earth’s temperature has been heightening gradually. According to studies, the temperature of the planet rests on the equilibrium between energy leaving and entering the Earth’s system (Nissan et al., 2019). When the sun’s energy is released into the planet’s system, it heats. When that heat is reflected by the Earth’s surface into space, the planet cools. Thus, there needs to be a balance between energy leaving and entering the Earth’s atmosphere to ensure that there is a certain control on climate change. Nevertheless, the projections about an increase in temperature within the Earth are credible due to several human and natural factors.

The Earth’s temperature will continue increasing due to increasing human activities that emit greenhouse gasses. Compared to the 1900s, there has been an increase in the number of manufacturing industries in 2020. Despite some of these industries adopting sustainable ways of conducting their operations, numerous industries are still utilizing traditional methods that mainly produce such gasses as methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) (Tokarska & Gillett, 2018). When the sun heats the Earth’s surface, it becomes warmer. Some of the heat must be reflected in space to ensure that there is a temperature balance in the planet’s system. However, due to increased CH4 and CO2 emission, the heat is trapped within the Earth’s structure, thereby leading to an increase in temperature over time. The other reason the projections are credible is due to changes within the sun, thereby affecting its intensity. Even though the difference might be small, sunlight intensity can determine the Earth’s temperature.

In developing countries, climate change poses numerous challenges, especially in the food security sector. One of the challenges is that climate change negatively affects food production and agriculture. A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that the poor yield for food crops such as cereals is a result of adverse climate conditions (Masipa, 2017). Higher CO2 amounts in the Earth’s atmosphere, extreme situations of floods and droughts, water scarcity, and heightened temperatures are affecting the cultivation of staple food, particularly in developing countries. As a result, there is a reduction in wheat and maize production leading to extreme cases of hunger in developing countries. Despite these issues being consistent, the world is yet to find a solution. Thus, there is a need to develop mitigation programs that would ensure that these problems are avoided.

The other way climate change affects food security in developing countries is by limiting its access. Since climate change affects the production of food, it means that it further affects its access. Weather catastrophes such as drought and floods cause farmers to inflate their prices. When prices increase, most people, particularly from poor households, cannot afford to purchase the food. Research states that when price inflation increases, people from poor households often spend three-quarters of the budget on food (Lincoln Lenderking et al., 2020). Since food structures are constantly interdependent, this means that adverse weather phenomena could interfere with them. In most cases, individuals in underdeveloped countries are the ones who would be disproportionately affected. Thus, it is important to ensure that the environment is protected to reduce the amount of carbon emission into the atmosphere since this would reduce temperature increase.

There is evidence that financial assistance to developing governments is being widely misused by government officials. A section of the World Bank that is in charge of investigations concerning matters of corruption and fraud indicates that there is misappropriation of funds by government officials (Sahqani, 2017). To help developing countries in the fight against climate change and food security, there is a need to ensure that the money allocated for aid is appropriately used. However, corrupt government officials in these countries are making it difficult to achieve this objective. The World Bank has conducted numerous surveys and found a few cases that can be sanctioned. Most of these cases involve corruption among government officials in developing countries. These individuals often embezzle the money, which ends up in their foreign accounts.

To operate in a particular region, aid agencies may require licenses and certifications. In developing countries, the government is the overall body in charge of issuing these licenses. In most cases, government officials in these departments demand bribes to allow a particular organization to provide its services to people (Sahqani, 2017). Since these organizations have limited resources to provide, they have to utilize the available ones to pay bribes, thereby reducing financial support for the poor and the hungry. Reports show that more than half of government officials in underdeveloped countries ask for bribes (Sahqani, 2017). Consequently, most poor people cannot receive help on time leading to high mortality rates. Furthermore, money provided by international aid agencies is often unevenly distributed by government officials. In some situations, these governments redirect the financial assistance into dishonest procurements, white elephant projects, or military equipment.

With the Earth’s temperature constantly increasing, it would be very difficult to reduce hunger, especially in developing countries. To ensure that everyone understands the impact of changes in temperature on food security, individuals need to know the difference between global warming and climate change. Through this knowledge, everyone will understand the measures that are supposed to be taken to reduce temperature increment on the Earth’s surface. Developing countries are the most affected, especially in terms of food production and access to food. These countries are exposed to extreme weather conditions such as floods and Tsunamis. Furthermore, these nations have corrupt government officials who misuse the money obtained from aid agencies. Thus, it is essential to ensure that every country adopts measures that conserve the environment.


Change, P. C. (2018). Global warming of 1.5 C. PSCdocs. Web.

Lincoln Lenderking, H., Robinson, S., & Carlson, G. (2020). Climate change and food security in Caribbean small island developing state: Challenges and strategies. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 28(3), 238-245. Web.

Masipa, T. S. (2017). The impact of climate change on food security in South Africa: Current realities and challenges ahead. Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies, 9(1). Web.

Nissan, H., Goddard, L., De Perez, E. C., Furlow, J., Baethgen, W., Thomson, M. C., & Mason, S. J. (2019). On the use and misuse of climate change projections in international development. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 10(3), e579. Web.

Sahqani, G. B. (2017). Aid and governance: Issues in developing countries. Socioeconomic Challenges, 1(2), 34-38. Web.

Soutter, A. R., & Mõttus, R. (2020). “Global warming” versus “climate change”: A replication on the association between political self-identification, question-wording, and environmental beliefs. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 69, 101413. Web.

Tokarska, K. B., & Gillett, N. P. (2018). Cumulative carbon emissions budgets consistent with 1.5 °C global warming. Nature Climate Change, 8(4), 296-299. Web.

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