KATHMANDU (AFP/Reuters) - Melting Himalayan glaciers and other climate change impacts pose a direct threat to the water and food security of more than 1.6 billion people in South Asia, according to initial findings of an Asian Development Bank study. New research commissioned by the ADB shows that if current climate trends persist until 2050, maize yields in South Asia will fall by 17 per cent, wheat by 12 per cent and rice by 10 per cent. The resulting food scarcity will lead to higher prices and reduced caloric intake across the region. Under this scenario, per capital calorie availability in 2050 will be below levels recorded in the year 2000, said the ADB study on Wednesday, based on current trends and projected temperature increases. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal are particularly vulnerable to falling crop yields, floods, droughts, erratic rainfall and other climate change impacts, it said. Kunio Senga, Director-General of the ADBs South Asia department, said the projected food shortages would result in five million additional malnourished children in South Asia. South Asias vulnerability to climate change has extremely serious implications for agriculture, he told journalists in Kathmandu, adding that the poor stand to suffer most as a result of unchecked climate change. Almost half the worlds poorest people live in South Asia, where they tend to depend on agriculture and live in areas highly exposed to changes in the climate, the ADB said. Senga was in Nepal for a conference of South Asian nations that ended Tuesday with a call for international assistance for poor communities most vulnerable to the effects of global warming. The ADBs research was carried out by the International Food Policy Research Institute and will be published in full at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Bangkok later this month. India warned on Tuesday that wholesale price inflation could rise as a poor monsoon drives up food costs. Separately, an Indian government-backed report on Wednesday said greenhouse gas emissions will jump to between 4 billion tonnes and 7.3 billion tonnes in 2031.