Lyon cited in National Geographic article on climate change, food crisis in Africa

Bradfield Lyon, an associate research professor in climate analysis at the University of Maine, was cited in the National Geographic article, “How climate change is fueling a food crisis in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria.” Across East Africa, farmers are facing persistent rural poverty and food insecurity, according to the article. Rapid population growth — sub-Saharan Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, the fastest rate of growth anywhere on Earth — threatens to make those problems worse, the article states. And now climate change, which is raising temperatures and disrupting seasonal rains, is posing a new threat. East Africa is roughly 1.5 degrees F warmer now than it was in the 1980s; during the same period, rainfall during the primary rainy season fell by 15 percent, according to Lyon. Research indicates that climate change could drive down yields of staples such as rice, wheat and maize roughly 20 percent by 2050, the article states.