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FAO and Adaptation to Climate Change in the European Region








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    Meeting
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    Terrestrial Essential Climate Variables for Climate Change Assessment, Mitigation and Adaptation
    GTOS 52 - Biennial Report Supplement
    2008
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    This report reviews the terrestrial Essential Climate Variables (ECVs), which are endorsed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Details are provided on why these observations are needed to understand the causes of climate change, analyse the potential impacts, evaluate the adaptation options and enable characterization of extreme events such as fl oods, droughts and heat waves. It highlights some of the activities being undertaken, the need for the standardization of methods and harmonization of data and the major observational gaps and funding requirements needed to allow countries and international agencies to monitor, implement and report on issues related to climate change.
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    The genetic improvement of forage grasses and legumes to enhance adaptation of grasslands to climate change 2008
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    Grasslands cover about 70% of the world’s agricultural area. They have a crucial role in terms of food production and in the delivery of ecosystem services such as water supplies, biodiversity and carbon sequestration. The grasslands of the world face a range of challenges from climate change including the effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide, increasing temperatures, changes in precipitation regime and higher concentrations of ground level ozone. These factors threaten pro ductivity, species composition and quality, with potential impacts not only on livestock production but also on other aspects of the multifunctional role of grasslands. In a previous work we considered the contribution grasslands make to greenhouse gas emissions and the potential of genetic improvement of key grassland species to reduce these emissions and enhance carbon sequestration in grassland soils. In this paper we summarize the targets and approaches plant breeding programmes sh ould adopt to enable grasslands to adapt to climate change whilst realizing their potential contributions to food security and reducing the environmental impact of livestock agriculture.

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