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Food Security: The Impact of Climate Change


These days, various ecological problems present a hot debates in the global society. In the modern world, it is evident that it is crucial to preserve nature and avoid pollution and damaging the planet. The consequence may significantly affect the current population and the nest generation. One of the most pressing concerns implies climate change and the rise of average temperature level. This problem appears to be extremely threatening for the life of humanity in the long run, and it has a direct link with sufficient food supplies. However, there are multiple inaccuracies and misunderstandings in this regard. Therefore the purpose of this paper is to clarify them, including differentiating global warming and climate change, the possible consequences, and challenges for food security.

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Difference between the Terms ‘Climate Change’ and ‘Global Warming’

In the context of discussions of ecological topics, there are a large number of misunderstandings on the terms ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’. Therefore, there is a need to clarify this issue and present differences between these collocations. As for global warming, it implies “the long-term heating of Earth’s climate system” (1, para. 3). This tendency was firstly discovered even in the preindustrial period, in the second half of the 18th century (1). The reason for it is human activity, namely fossil fuel burning, which causes the greenhouse effect. Therefore, global warming involves a rise in the average temperature level on the Earth.

On the contrary, the term ‘climate change’ is used to name to some extent different events in this regard. It means “a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth’s local, regional and global climates” (1, para. 5). This event was observed at the beginning of the 20th century, and as it is similar to global warming, the cause is human activity, or more precisely, fossil fuel burning (1). However, the major difference between the collocation is the inclusion of natural contribution to climate change. Internal and external factors, for instance, cyclical ocean patterns, volcanic eruption or activity, and changes in Earth’s orbit, may have an impact on climate.

It is a common sight that people confuse these two terms. The most probable reason for it implies the fact that the meaning of these collocations is extremely close. Another possible cause is the lack of awareness of these issues, as these terms are usually used together. All people interested in ecology are highly likely to comprehend the difference between global warming and climate change.

The Consequences of Temperature Rise

Regardless of the difference between global warming and climate change, it is a scientifically proven fact that the global average temperature level is gradually rising. Graph 1 illustrates the considerable change in climate, which occurred in the second half of the 19th century, and a drastic rise in global surface temperature in the 20th century (2). NOAA’s 2020 Annual Climate Report, which contained an evaluation of both land and ocean temperature, revealed the rise of 0.08 degrees Celsius since 1880 (2). Lindsey & Dahlman highlight: “the average rate of increase since 1981 (0.18°C / 0.32°F) has been more than twice that rate” (2, para. 5). In Paris, 195 countries confirmed that the global temperature increase on 1,5 degrees Celsius since 1900 year (3). These tendencies are considered to be extremely destructive for the planet and life on it in the long run.

History of Global Surface Temperature since 1880 (2).
Graph 1. History of Global Surface Temperature since 1880 (2).

There are assumptions that the current statistics and its continuance may affect the natural world, namely glacier melting. Kraaijenbrink et al. (3) conducted an exploration of the influence of temperature rise on glaciers in the mountains in Asia. They state that the heating tendency will lead to “64 ± 7 per cent of the present-day ice mass stored in the HMA glaciers will remain by the end of the century” (3, para. 1). Consequently, the study confirms the negative consequence of the wild nature of temperature increase.

Another possible impact regards the climate in droughts, which is considered to aggravate. Naunmann et al. (2018) provided an insight into this issue, analyzing the probable consequences for drought areas in 1,5, 2, and 3°C warming. The conclusions are: “two thirds of the global population will experience a progressive increase in drought conditions with warming” (4, para. 1). Therefore, drought areas are highly likely to become even hotter and incur a supply-demand deficit. Thus, it is possible to summarize that the assumption on the significant negative impact on nature in many aspects is credible.

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Climate Change and Challenges for Food Security

Since climate change affects the natural world, it is evident that it poses particular challenges for food security in the future. The negative consequences will have a considerable impact on crop yield and livestock and fisheries production. An increase in average temperature will lead to water shortage, droughts, floods, and a high concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, which worsen the quality and number of stable crops to a large extent (5). These days, maize and wheat production encounter challenges, which are posed by climate change.

Another probable consequence, which affects food security, is the rising sea level. Apart from reducing the place for possible food production, saltwater kills rice crops. This product is especially important for Asian countries, as it is one of the major products in their cuisine. Consequently, their food supplies and economic condition may be harmed to a large extent (5, 6). For instance, in Vietnam, rice crops are located in the Mekong Delta region, which are vital for feeding the population of the country (5). Probable flood may kill all the fields and pose risks to the food security of the state.

Droughts may aggravate the situation with food supplies in countries, which already have problems with them. Possible disasters in nature may significantly limit the access to food supplies among low-income people. In the 21st century, the problem of hunger still exists, and climate change may worsen all the progress. In addition, high temperature may make dry areas even more restricted in water supplies, which is destructive for crops. Thus, it is apparent that climate change is highly likely to result in a variety of challenges in food security for humanity.

Financial Support for Food Security

In the context of present-day developments, appropriate financial support for maintaining food security is established, and it is expected to prevent global hunger in case of threats to some extent. However, there is an assumption that the money in this fund is misused by government officials. This issue presents a matter of hot debates among the International Monetary Fund, UNICEF, and AID. Opponents are convinced that there is proper monitoring of these funds, and misappropriation is impossible in these conditions. It appears to be challenging to provide an in-depth insight into this problem, as these discussions are conducted on the governmental level. As an ordinary citizen, I cannot have direct access to actions of officials, though it is possible to base the conclusions on data available in media.

It should be noted that there is significant evidence for proving governmental officials’ guilt in misusing the money for food support. There is information on the misappropriation of food relief, which was intended to be supplied for hungry people (7). This event happened in Yemen, and it was widely broadcasted in the press. However, this case is too small to threaten food security. Furthermore, it does not regard the funds devoted to this issue directly.

From my perspective, I trust the government in this regard. I am convinced that food security finding is a matter of special concern, and it is monitored thoroughly. I do not deny the possibility of mistakes, though I consider that all the measured are taken in order to prevent them in the long run. In addition, misappropriation of this money will be considerably judged by global society, which makes officials unwilling to misuse them.


In conclusion, it is evident that the condition of the environment is worsening from year to year. In the context of present-day developments, the population may perceive the negative consequences of this tendency only slightly. However, in the future, it is highly likely to threaten the life of the entire humanity. Climate change has a direct impact on food supplies and security, and for this reason, it is crucial to take appropriate measures in order to prevent the aggravation of the situation. Otherwise, droughts, lack of water, the rise of ocean level, and other numerous negative consequences may lead to global hunger, as food production will be impossible in these circumstances. Therefore, the necessity to address this pressing concern urgently is undeniable.

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  1. Overview: Weather, Global Warming and Climate Change. n. d. Nasa: Global Climate Change. Web.
  2. Rebecca Lindsey & LuAnn Dahlman. 2020. Climate Change Global Temperature. Web.
  3. Kraaijenbrink et al. 2017. Impact of a Global Temperature Rise of 1.5 Degrees Celsius on Asia’s. 257–260. Web.

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