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Climate Change and Agriculture: The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Global Food Security

climate change and agriculture

As many as 26 countries signed the Sustainable Agriculture Policy Action Agenda at the summit to set a course of action to protect food systems and prevent loss of biodiversity against climate change. India did not sign the agenda as its Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), one of the missions within the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), is already operational to deal with the issue of climate change in the agriculture sector.

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UN’s Warnings:

  • UN’s IPCC Report and organizations like WMO and MoEFCC have repeatedly warned of increasing severe natural disasters such as floods, droughts, and cyclones.
  • These extreme events are impacting agricultural productivity, which, in turn, affects global food security.

Cyclone Freddy:

  • Cyclone Freddy was a record-breaking cyclone that affected six African countries after traveling over 8,000 kilometers across the South Indian Ocean.
  • It had an accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) of 87.01 units, indicating its intensity.
  • The cyclone’s behavior was influenced by exposure to warmer waters in the southern Indian Ocean.

Impact on Agriculture:

  • Increasing extreme temperatures and rainfall variability have led to reduced seed quality and size in India.
  • High temperatures can negatively affect wheat varieties by shortening the reproductive phase and grain-filling duration.
  • The spread of dwarf virus in paddy was linked to high temperatures in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttarakhand in 2022.
  • Drought conditions during seed development can also reduce seed quality, and high-speed winds can uproot plants.
  • Rising temperatures can accelerate crop development, resulting in smaller seeds.
climate change and Agriculture ,effects of climate change on Agriculture

Resistant Varieties:

  • Scientists are exploring disease and climate-resilient seed varieties as a potential solution.
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has been releasing such varieties since 2005.
  • In February 2023, IARI registered a heatwave-resistant wheat variety called HD3385 for testing.


  • The global ocean has absorbed a significant amount of heat generated by human emissions, leading to increased ocean heat content.
  • The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Synthesis Report indicates a decline in agricultural productivity over the past 50 years in mid- and low-latitude regions, including vast parts of India.
  • India must ensure the productivity of its agriculture, which relies on the development of resilient seeds.

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