Mar 14

Linking Climate change, food security and people migration in the Mediterranean: A proposal to improve our understanding?

Speaker : Mustapha El Maayar (1)

maayarAbstract : A recently developed methodology to extract crop yield response to climate variability and change from long-term crop yield observations will firstly be presented. In contrast to the widely used first-difference approach (FDA), the proposed methodology considers that the difference in value between crop yields of two consecutive years reflects necessarily the contributions of climate and management conditions, especially at large spatial scales where both conditions may vary significantly from one year to the next.

The presented approach has been applied to remove the effect of non-climatic factors on crop yield and, hence, to isolate the effect of the observed climate change between 1961 and 2006 on three widely crops grown in three Mediterranean countries—namely wheat, corn and potato—using national-level crop yield observations’ time-series.

Results show that the proposed methodology provides us with a ground basis to improve substantially our understanding of crop yield response to climate change at a scale that is relevant to large-scale estimations of agricultural production and to food security analyses; and therefore to reduce uncertainties in estimations of potential climate change effects on agricultural production.

Secondly, potential implications of the obtained results on the linkage between climate change, food security and people migration will be discussed.

(1) Mustapha El Maayar is a research scientist and international consultant. His interests mainly spans over vegetating dynamics modeling, crop modeling and hydrological modeling.

Prior to a completed PhD at University of Montreal, he earned a BsC in Physics from University Paul-Sabatier and an MsC from National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse in Physics and Chemistry of Environment.

He has been previously working as visiting and physical scientist at Natural Resources Canada in Edmonton, as a research associate at Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment at University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a faculty research associate at University of Toronto and as a research scientist at The Cyprus Institute.

Mustapha El Maayar has also various teaching and international consulting experiences.