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«DIPLOMA THESIS Linking Climate Change with Food Security in the highlands of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Northwest Pakistan Presented by: Martin Kienzler ...»

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This could implicate that there is no significant relationship between climate change and crop yields. On the other hand some of the informants reported the more frequently occurrence of climatic extreme events such as heavy precipitation events causing floods or

Chapter 8. Conclusion and outlook

periods with prolonged hot temperatures and little rain. They related these events to crop damages and yield losses. Furthermore there are several studies which prove that also changes in mean climatology have considerable impacts on crops. Similarly the findings of this thesis point out that agriculture is strongly affected by changes in temperature as well as precipitation. Hence it can be assumed that technological improvements such as the implementation of irrigation systems and the usage of chemical fertilizer help to override the impacts of climate change.

Outlook This study comprises the characteristics of climate change for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in terms of trends of the mean values of the climate parameters temperature and precipitation. In general it can be affirmed that the recent impacts of these changes may bring some local to regional benefits concerning agriculture within the mountainous parts above a certain altitude. Future projections however suggest that certain thresholds are going to be transcended, so that the benefits of climate change might turn into risks. Combined with the continuing strong population growth in Pakistan the agricultural situation in the high-mountain areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa might come more and more under stress.

Furthermore the development of extreme events was not taken into account in this study, except for the reports of the local population. Given the possibility that such extreme events are more important for agriculture and hence food security, future research in the region should concentrate more on the occurrence of events like drought periods and floods to exactly evaluate the impacts on local livelihoods and successfully assess adaptation measurements. Only recently the importance of climate extremes, triggered through climate change or not, became distinctly visible when especially northwestern Pakistan experienced one of the most devastating floods in summer 2010 and a similar heavy flood one year later.

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