Changes in soil humidity and air temperature will affect regions, such as the semi-arid Northeast, where lack of water is a constant. The productivity of basic crops such as maize, beans, cotton, cassava and rice will suffer, leading to a drop in income in the region that is already Brazil's most backward in terms of social indicators intensifying poverty.
The federal government's successful poverty reduction program, Bolsa Familia, will not be enough to stop a renewal of migration from the rural area to the cities, worsening infrastructure problems related to housing, transport and sanitation, officials fear.
Help in future planning
The researchers want their report to be used to guide the drawing up and implementation of public policies for climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as to help companies in their future planning.
The report, the first by the PBMC, also marks Brazil's acceptance by the IPCC as a nation supplying projections on a planetary scale. This is because it has developed its own climate simulation model, the Brazilian Earth System Model – the only country in the southern hemisphere to do so.
The establishment of that model has enabled the scientists to reconstruct recent occurrences of the El Niño climate phenomenon – caused by abnormal heating up of the surface waters of the equatorial Pacific, which affects the rainfall regime in a large part of the planet – and simulate the effects of future El Niños.
This article originally appeared at The Daily Climate, the climate change news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.