Don't Blame Climate Change For Madagascar's Food Crisis: Scientists

"Widespread poverty, lack of irrigation, deforestation and COVID-19 restrictions are having a bigger effect than global warming, scientists say"

"DURBAN - Madagascar was thought to be facing one of the world's first climate-induced famines but new data suggests global warming is playing only a small role in surging hunger there, with poverty, COVID-19 and natural rain variability the key drivers.

Correctly assessing what is behind such crises is key to ensuring the problems driving them are effectively addressed, particularly as climate change pressures tick up, researchers said.

"When you just blame everything on climate change then you take all the agency away from local decision makers to actually deal with the disasters," said Friederike Otto, co-head of research initiative World Weather Attribution (WWA).

"Climate change is a threat multiplier, but with this particular drought it was more the natural rain variability, COVID and the very high vulnerability that came together," the climate scientist told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a video call."

Kim Harrisberg reports for Thomson Reuters Foundation December 2, 2021.

Source: Thomson Reuters Fdn., 12/02/2021