"What Are The Odds That Extreme Weather Will Lead To A Global Food Shock?"

"The insurance giant Lloyd’s evaluated the risks in a recent study."

"Envision, for a moment, a multiyear period of extreme weather, including heat waves, freezes, droughts, floods, and windstorms, topped off by extreme weather during an El Niño event, leading to major crop failures in the U.S.

A disruption of the global agricultural and food supply chain results, leading to panic buying and price shocks. Water shortages cause significant social disruption as populations vie for limited vital resources. The number of countries able to maintain a sustainable level of output shrinks dramatically, the global economy contracts at an accelerating pace, and political tensions rise as countries look to maintain food security. Trade disputes, increased competition and inequality, social unrest, and crime increase, causing widespread business interruption, falling profits, and layoffs, primarily in the agricultural and agriculture-dependent industries.

A 2023 report by insurance giant Lloyd’s explores the odds of such a scenario, using weather data from the past 40 years and a crop model combined with a water-stress model to measure the economic impact of a sustained period of extreme weather."

Jeff Masters reports for Yale Climate Connections January 25, 2024.

Source: Yale Climate Connections, 01/29/2024