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
Cereals use chemical defenses in a multifunctional manner against different herbivores
06.12.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
Can rice filter water from ag fields?
05.12.2018 | American Society of Agronomy
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
13.12.2018 | Life Sciences
13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences