Monday, November 28, 2016

Heat Hits Wheat Yields per Field

As demand for grain increases to feed a rising population, scientists warn that global warming could seriously reduce wheat productivity.

Wheat harvests in Egypt could be reduced by up to 20%. (Image Credit: Aaron Morton via Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
Farmers and consumers have just been issued another warning:  global warming will almost certainly reduce wheat yields.

For every 1°C rise in global average temperatures, the harvest per hectare of the grain that feeds more than half the planet will fall by an average of 5.7%.

This average conceals huge variation at local levels.  At Aswan in Egypt, a 1°C rise could reduce harvests by between 11% and 20%.  At Krasnodar in Russia, productivity could fall by 4% or 7%.

Global demand for food is likely to rise by 60% by mid-century, as the world’s population soars to an estimated 9 billion.  And wheat is one of the staples that nourish the entire planet.
Wheat warning
The wheat warning is not new:  in effect, more than 60 scientists from more than 50 institutions worldwide report in Nature Climate Change that they have looked at the predictions.  They have tested them using three entirely independent approaches, and data from just one grain crop – and they get the same bleak answer about reduced yields.

Read more at Heat Hits Wheat Yields per Field

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