Response to Environmental Change

  • Created by: nicola
  • Created on: 25-04-11 17:32

Actual impacts of climate change are unknown - farmers will need to adapt techniques to keep their livelihoods. Impacts:

  • Increase in air temps - increases PET and reduces water availability
  • Increase in SSTs - more storminess therefore increase frequency of hurricanes
  • Reduction in regional rainfall
  • More CO2 - impacts on C4 plants
  • ENSO - la nina brings droughts, el nino brings storms = increase recurrence interval

All factors above can leaf to more agricultural degradation 

Society can help do this - research/ loans/ accessibility therefore approaches can be made both top down and bottom up

Environmental Change - JAMAICA CASE STUDY

Farmers have to compete to get into global market due to globalisation

High risk - rainy season coincides with hurricane season - high frequency of hurricanes and tropical storms

Best staple crop is yams but high associated soil erosion especially on hillsides

Best land is put aside for plantations of sugar cane and rum - farmers pushed onto marginal lands = domestic food is most at risk

Rain shadow effect from Blue Mountains

  • 3000mm on east coast as opposed to 800mm in Saint Elizabeth which is only 100km away
  • However, Saint Elizabeth successfully grow crops as farming is adapted to environ through mulching, pesticide use,  and improvised labour

Also, most of island is underlaid with limestone - hardly any rivers (no tapping for irrigation)

Crop production rose until 1986/87 - drought in '88 caused reduction in crop yields and '97/98 drought further worsened this

Rielly (1996)

  • States that adaptation is okay but this takes time - time varies depending on the specie/ habitat
  • Options for farmers:
    • Change sowing date/ seasonal activity pattern
      • Allows for variations to…


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