Climate Change Research ›› 2020, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (1): 17-27.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2019.194

• New Scientific Understanding on Climate Change and Land • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impacts of extreme weather and climate events on desertification, land degradation and food security

Meng-Tian HUANG,Bai-Quan ZHOU,Pan-Mao ZHAI()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2019-08-23 Revised:2019-09-12 Online:2020-01-30 Published:2020-01-15
  • Contact: Pan-Mao ZHAI


Land is a critical resource supporting human livelihoods. Land is substantially affected by climate change, whereas changes in land conditions also play a key role in the climate system. The latest IPCC special report climate change and land (SRCCL) presents the latest scientific understandings of climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems, and further assesses how to implement more sustainable land use and management in response to land-related climate change issues. This paper focuses on changes in extreme weather and climate events as well as their impacts on land with the combination of the major conclusions of SRCCL and other relevant studies. We show that in the context of global warming, changes in weather and climate extremes have impacted and will continue to impact desertification and land degradation processes, and threaten food security; the feedback from land to the climate system will exacerbate climate change and increase the occurrence probability and severity of extreme events. Given that land is under the enormous pressures brought by climate change, especially by extreme events, adhering to sustainable land management and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors including land and food systems, is essential to make it possible to limit the global mean surface temperature rise to within 2℃ and mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on land and food systems.

Key words: Climate change, Land, Extreme weather and climate events, Ecosystem, Desertification, Land degradation, Food security

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