Global warming of only two degrees Celsius will be detrimental to three essential food crops
Results from a new study co-authored by Netra Chhetri, a faculty member with the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University, show global warming of only two degrees Celsius will be detrimental to three essential food crops in temperate and tropical regions. And beginning in the 2030s, yields from those crops will start to decline significantly.
Arizona State University
Netra Chhetri, professor in the School of Urban Planning and Geographical Sciences at Arizona State University, and University of Leeds Professor Andy Challinor report that crop yields will be negatively affected by climate change much earlier than expected in the journal Nature Climate Change.
“This study has been able to quantify the likely impacts of differing degrees of climate change on yields, by crop and by region,” said Chhetri. “In general, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia showed significant yield reductions for the second half of the century.”
In the study, the researchers created a new data set by compiling the results from 1,700 published simulations to evaluate yield impacts of climate change with and without adaptations for rice, maize and wheat. Due to increased interest on the impacts of climate change in global food security, the study was able to create the largest dataset to date on crop responses, with more than double the number of studies that were available for researchers to analyse for the previous IPCC Assessment Report in 2007. “One of the most important findings of this study is that adaptation may not be as effective for rice and maize as it is for wheat,” said Chhetri.
The research paper, 'A meta-analysis of crop yield under climate change and adaptation', published March 16 by the journal Nature Climate Change, feeds directly into the Working Group II report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, which is due to be published at the end of March 2014. In the Fourth Assessment Report, to which Chhetri was a contributing author, scientists reported that regions of the world with temperate climates, such as Europe and most of North America, could withstand a couple of degrees of warming without a noticeable effect on harvests, or possibly even benefit from a bumper crop.
With more data available now, researchers see a shift in consensus. “Our research shows that crop yields will be negatively affected by climate change much earlier than expected. Furthermore, the impact of climate change on crops will vary both from year-to-year and from place-to-place—with the variability becoming greater as the weather becomes increasingly erratic,” said University of Leeds Professor Andy Challinor, lead author of the study.
The researchers conclude that, on aggregate, we will see an increasingly negative impact of climate change on crop yields from the 2030s onward. The impact will be greatest in the second half of the century, when decreases of over 25 percent will become increasingly common.
These statistics account for possible adaptation techniques by farmers to mitigate the effects of climate change, such as adjustments in the crop variety and planting date. Later in the century, greater agricultural transformations and innovations will be needed in order to safeguard crop yields for future generations.
“Climate change means a less predictable harvest, with different countries winning and losing in different years. The overall picture remains negative, and we are now starting to see how research can support adaptation by avoiding the worse impacts,” said Challinor.
Netra Chhetri is a professor in the School of Urban Planning and Geographical Sciences. The school and the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes are research units in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University
Marissa Huth | newswise
Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world's temperate forests
31.08.2015 | USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Sequencing of barley genome achieves new milestone
26.08.2015 | University of California - Riverside
Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.
"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...
A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...
A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...
In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.
These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...
Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.
For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...
20.08.2015 | Event News
20.08.2015 | Event News
19.08.2015 | Event News
31.08.2015 | Awards Funding
31.08.2015 | Materials Sciences
31.08.2015 | Materials Sciences