Climate change and livestock: Impacts, adaptation, and mitigation
Global demand for livestock products is expected to double by 2050, mainly due to improvement in the worldwide standard of living. Meanwhile, climate change is a threat to livestock production because of the impact on quality of feed crop and forage, water availability, animal and milk production, livestock diseases, animal reproduction, and biodiversity. This study reviews the global impacts of climate change on livestock production, the contribution of livestock production to climate change, and specific climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in the livestock sector. Livestock production will be limited by climate variability as animal water consumption is expected to increase by a factor of three, demand for agricultural lands increase due to need for 70% growth in production, and food security concern since about one-third of the global cereal harvest is used for livestock feed. Meanwhile, the livestock sector contributes 14.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, driving further climate change. Consequently, the livestock sector will be a key player in the mitigation of GHG emissions and improving global food security. Therefore, in the transition to sustainable livestock production, there is a need for: a) assessments related to the use of adaptation and mitigation measures tailored to the location and livestock production system in use, and b) policies that support and facilitate the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.