The coming seasons will hit their lands the hardest, the extreme weather brought on by climate change placing them in a state of warning and constant vigilance. For millions of smallholder farmers in the developing world, the dire warning “Winter is Coming”, from the imaginative mind of the writer of Game of Thrones, is that which they must accept as their harsh reality, as natural forces are increasingly disrupted, disruptive and extreme.
They call it the dzud.
The harsh and unsettling name is suggestive of the reality it describes: a drought followed by a very heavy winter snow, winds and brutal cold temperatures. Cattle will die, food security will worsen, livelihoods will be put in jeopardy, the poorest of the poor will be hit the hardest.