Should agricultural research in Central Asia and Caucasus (CAC) re-prioritize its agenda with view to climate change?
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Impact of climate change on the clockwork of agro-ecosystems. ▶ pollinators as key agents of any climate change adaptation of agro-ecosystems at risks. ▶ Impact of climate change on mountain agriculture.Temperatures in Central Asia (CA) might increase by 3.7 °C until 2100 (IPCC, 2007). Until 2050 climate change might cause shrinkage of glacier volume by around 32% and a total loss of hundreds of small glaciers (WBGU, 2007); in addition with higher evaporation this will lead to a significant loss of watering points on rangelands. IPCC estimates a decrease in crop yield between 2.5–10% by 2020 and 5–30% by 2050 in CA (IPCC, 2007). Grasslands are expected to become less productive by 30% (EDB, 2009). 40–60% of irrigated croplands in CA are already salt-affected and/or water logged (Toderich et al., 2008). In CA2 population will grow from 60.6 million (2008) to 79.9 million until 2050. Food security and employment rely on local and regional agro-ecosystems. Therefore, adaptation to climate change may also entail new prioritization of agricultural research and development.