Food production yields fall under strain of climate change patterns

There have already been plenty of indicators that global warming may be acting as a drag on world food production – lowering yields and pushing up food prices. Now a Stanford University research team has modeled in detail how the planetary warming of the last 3 decades has hit the world’s 4 main food crops. The results, published today in Science Express, show that an area of corn (maize) equal to Mexico’s annual output has been lost – and that France’s wheat harvest would be entirely swallowed by the lowered wheat yields. And these reduced harvests can be pinned onto the effects of climate change. Harvest that are lower than what they could-have-been have helped to push an extra $50 billion onto the world’s food bill, despite some benefit for crops from higher CO2 levels. But the numbers coming from the research do vary widely with crop and region. Whilst wheat and maize show bigger ‘missed yield increases’ from rising temperatures, soya beans and rice show no effect yet on their yields. And the US appears to have gotten away with no major losses in potential yields – its major crop-growing regions have yet to see the warming experienced by many other parts of the world.In order to pull out these numbers, the scientists – led by David Lobell, an assistant professor of environmental Earth science at Stanford University – merged published crop yield data sets from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization with those from the Universities of Delaware and Wisconsin, as well as McGill University. Together they covered three decades of harvests for the ‘big four’ food crops – soya, corn, wheat and rice – which account for three-quarters of human calorie-intake.
They then zeroed in on the main crop-producing areas, and looked at how rainfall and seasonal temperatures have evolved since 1980. By stripping out the known changes due to global warming  over that period – and recalculating the harvests using a ‘climate stable’ crop model – the team came up with crop-yield numbers that would have applied, if global warming hadn’t intervened. Although overall crop harvests have increased in the face of greenhouse gas-fueled warming, the study showed that climate change has left wheat down 5.5% and corn 4%, compared to what would have happened without global warming. Losses in wheat were greatest for Russia, India and France, whereas China and Brazil were the biggest losers with corn. But the US Corn Belt seems to have been shielded from serious climate effects so far, and has even seen a slight cooling trend. That has been very beneficial globally – the US produces 40% of the world’s corn and wheat, and by holding onto its high harvests, food price rises have been somewhat blunted. That luck may not hold, however. –The Earth Times
This entry was posted in Climate unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Extreme Weather Event, Food chain unraveling. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Food production yields fall under strain of climate change patterns

  1. Farian says:

    This is because of Chem Trails / Geo Engineering , not climate change… it was a totally predictable scenario….. Our climate has been modified daily and heavily for at least the last 20 years….. ;’).. one love..

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  2. David, you can reload your comments in the new post….

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  3. Marge says:

    Tremendous flooding in food producing areas of the US will lower harvests here, too. Crops along the Mississippi are being wiped out and the farmland may not recover for some time. There have been huge storms generated, I think, by weather modification to further the agenda of population reduction via starvation – truly diabolical.

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  4. ProfBob says:

    I find in reading those sites that say that climate problems are a myth and that food production is no problem–that their evidence is very sparse and inconclusive. Recently I read Book 1 of the free e-book series “In Search of Utopia” (http://andgulliverreturns.info), it blasts their lack of newscientist.com/article/dn11462-climate-change-a-guide-for-the-perplexed.html evidence relative to several myths. The book, actually the last half of the book, takes on the skeptics in global warming, overpopulation, lack of fresh water, lack of food, and other areas where people deny the evidence. I strongly suggest that anyone wanting to see the whole picture read the book, at least the last half. There is also up to date information at:http://www.

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  5. jp mills says:

    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper
    TS Eliot

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