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Climate Adaptation

World’s Food Supplies Get Slammed by Drought, Floods and Frost

  • Coffee surges to highest since 2014 after frost hits Brazil
  • As food vulnerability rises, social unrest often follows
A farmer lets a mixture of dry soil and sand fall through his fingers beside an oat crop that has been stricken by drought on a grain farm near Osler, Saskatchewan, Canada, on July 13.

A farmer lets a mixture of dry soil and sand fall through his fingers beside an oat crop that has been stricken by drought on a grain farm near Osler, Saskatchewan, Canada, on July 13.

Photographer: Kayle Neis/Bloomberg

Extreme weather is slamming crops across the globe, bringing with it the threat of further food inflation at a time costs are already hovering near the highest in a decade and hunger is on the rise.

Brazil’s worst frost in two decades brought a deadly blow to young coffee trees in the world’s biggest grower. Flooding in China’s key pork region inundated farms and raised the threat of animal disease. Scorching heat and drought crushed crops on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. And in Europe, torrential rains sparked the risk of fungal diseases for grains and stalled tractors in soaked fields.