During El Niño episodes the normal patterns of tropical precipitation and atmospheric circulation become disrupted triggering extreme climate events around the globe: droughts, floods and affecting the intensity and frequency of hurricanes. Disasters create poverty traps that increase the prevalence of food insecurity and malnutrition.

A new FAO database collects previously scattered and unharmonized land cover information from around the globe into one centralized database, marking a major improvement in information regarding the physical characteristics of the Earth's surface. Up to now, one of the major challenges to getting a good global overview of land cover - e.g.