A Systems Approach to Climate Change Impacts on Livestock Production

Issue Date:
Sep 03 2008
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
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Livestock production is doubly impacted by climate change — it both contributes to the phenomenon and must adjust to its consequences. Whilst adaptation is being achieved, the true mitigation potential for livestock production is yet to be quantified. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that demand for animal products is escalating quickly, especially in developing and transitional economies. The sector is also subject of considerable biological variability, meaning that the industry does not fit easily into carbon trading schemes. Any response to climate change will need to consider changes in productivity to reduce emissions per animal; changes in consumption to restrict the total animal population; and policy or regulation changes as governments make difficult decisions on mitigation targets. There is a need to improve the reliability and applicability of regional impact models, to enable a system-wide assessment of climate change effects. Similarly significant gaps exist in our knowledge of the basic biology of animals, and especially the rumen. In the absence of new information for research, progress to reduce the current and projected impacts of livestock production will be slow.

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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