Scientific linkages between climate change and (transboundary) crop pest and disease outbreaks



In collaboration with researchers from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), TMG just published a new working paper looking at the formal linkages between climate change and other consequences of anthropogenic activity from an increasingly globalized world on the adaptation, intensification, migration, and establishment of transboundary crop pests and diseases.


Through its different sections, this working paper examines how a changing climate affects the dynamics of pest and disease expansion and migration, explores the latest mitigation measures, and proposes steps towards a holistic early warning system for pest and disease detection and control mitigation measures.



Key messages


  • There is a high degree of certainty that temperature rise will greatly affect the tropics, which could lead to diminished pest pressure since the temperature-pest nexus is already at a near-optimum threshold.
  • Higher CO2 atmospheric concentrations are likely to increase yields for staple crops, but will also give rise to weed pressure, owing to enhanced photosynthesis efficiency.
  • Increased rainfall in and around the equatorial belt and mountainous regions leads to the vulnerability of insect populations, especially those that overwinter (in the larval stage).
  • Climate change will undoubtedly increase the distribution of insect pests. Temperate climates are likely to be affected the most since temperature increases will facilitate migration and will lead to more generations of breeding.
  • Climate change may have a major impact on the epidemiology (the incidence, distribution, and degree of control) of diseases borne from plant viruses.


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Author: Müller, A., Nilsson, S., Prakash, A. and Lazutkaite, E.; Müller, A., Prakash, A., Lazutkaite, E., Davis M., Amdihun, A. and Ouma, J.

Publisher: TMG Research gGmbH

Language: English

Year: 2022

Ecosystem(s): Agricultural Land

Location(s): Horn of Africa

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