Volume 5
Summer 2012
Number 1

Simple stochastic models of food insecurity

due to climate change

David Ddumba Walakira, Andrew Kayanja and Marek Stastna

Abstract: While climate change is a complex, interdisciplinary topic, perhaps the most important effect of climate change on the developing world is through the issue of food security. We present some simple mathematical models for climate-change-induced food insecurity in the equatorial region. It is believed that the primary effect of future climate change in equatorial Africa will be a shift of the timing of the rainy season and an increase in the incidence of violent rain events. By considering a stochastic parameter dependence in simple models of crop yield we demonstrate the manner in which the distribution of crop yield varies. In particular we demonstrate that in some parameter regimes an unexpected double-peaked distribution results, with a significant probability of potentially disastrous low yields. We conclude by critiquing our simple models and suggesting avenues for future work.