Ozone: a threat to food security in South Asia

Current day concentrations of ground level ozone (O3) are commonly reducing crop yields by between 5 and 35 % at agriculturally important locations across South Asia. O3 induced economic crop losses could be in the region of $4 billion per annum for staple crops in South Asia; such losses are likely to impact more on poor and vulnerable people. O3 concentrations are increasing rapidly in South Asia and the situation looks set to worsen considerably in the future under current legislation to control emissions. Crop yield losses from current day O3 concentrations are greater than projected losses due to climate change, indicating that O3 may be a more immediate problem to food security.