Air Pollution and Sustainable and Resilient Food Production

Organizer: Lisa Emberson
Format: Online, Evening

Increasing world population, and changing food demand, has led to an increasing intensification of agricultural production. There is a myriad of effects on the environment- from impacts on soils, watersheds and coastal systems, to greenhouse gas emissions and -less well known- also air pollution. Agriculture contributes to increasingly dangerous levels of airborne particulate matter, which puts at risk human health, and deposition of nitrogen components, which threaten biodiversity. Air pollution also threatens food supply: crop yields are reduced by the strong atmospheric oxidant ozone and particulate matter alters the quantity and quality of solar radiation with implications for crop growth and yield. These pollutants arise mainly due to emissions from industry and traffic, but also from the agricultural sector causing emissions of methane. In comparison to well known stresses on agriculture, such as water shortage, pests and diseases, heat and frost, the effects of air pollution are not well known in the agronomic community. Air pollution impact science needs to be better integrated with agronomic assessments to understand how pollution combines with other stresses to impact crop yield quantity and quality. Understanding how potential changes in supply might affect crop price will also be important to assess the effects on farmers’ incomes and food access and hence effects of air pollution on overall food security. This session is jointly sponsored by the international Commission for Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (iCACGP) and the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project.

Themes: Integrated Action for the SDGs