Year-to-year, climate variability has a large influence on agriculture, which is heavily dependent on rainfall, sunshine and temperature. Human-induced climate change has introduced a new complicating factor into the food security equation, which is modifying natural climate variability. At higher latitudes, some producers may benefit from a longer growing season, while others in arid and semi-arid areas will experience increased water shortages. Scientists expect an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme events such as floods and droughts that will ultimately impact crops and livestock.
Better understanding and management of climate variability will help cope with climate change. Decreasing the vulnerability of different sectors, such as forestry and agriculture, to natural climate variability through more informed policies, practices and technologies will, in many cases, reduce the long-term vulnerability of these systems to climate change.