Food security is in jeopardy poster

Looking at the impact of climate change on crop systems

The graphic below summarises the different ways that climate change is going to affect different types of crops.

Follow the crop type around the circle to see the different impacts of climate change and whether this will have a positive (green), negative (red), or mixed (yellow) effect. Light grey means that an impact has not been assessed properly yet.

The dots give the confidence we have in this impact. The icons tell us how the crops grow (above or below ground), and how long their life cycle is.

Cropping systems data visualisation
Average direction of impact keyAverage confidence in impact keyhow it grows key

Graphic by Borrowed Time, adapted from IPCC (2022) Figure 5.8 showing the synthesis of 60 published studies on the effects of crops on climate change

What it tells us
It tells us that our food security is going to be jeopardised by climate change. Increased heat, extreme rainfall (droughts and floods), changing times of the seasons, and especially increased risk to pests and disease are going to make growing crops much harder.

What it means
Food availability, access, quality, and stability are much harder to achieve at higher temperatures. This is combined with other factors such as a growing population, supply chain disruption, and increased food prices.

As a result, the latest IPCC report say there is high confidence that the number of people at risk of “hunger, malnutrition and diet-related mortality” will increase in the future.