Climate change, crop yields, and child health in lower-income countries
Elisabeth Robinson (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment)
Climate change threatens human health through increased food insecurity in complex ways, but to date there have been few attempts to link climate, crop yields, and nutrition. I will share with you insights and findings from new research that we feel makes an important and novel contribution to the literature, combining country-level crop yield data with a large sub-national child health dataset from 130 countries and gridded reanalysed climate data to investigate the climate-crops-health nexus. Using an instrumental variable approach, we find evidence that climate change measured by anomaly in growing-degree days and droughts is already affecting the health of children, particularly through harvest shocks, while inter-annual change in temperature also worsens child health. Our results suggest that child health can be improved through both climate change mitigation and targeted adaptation measures.