Climate shifts ‘hit global wheat yields’
Shifts in the climate over the past three decades have been linked to a 5.5% decline in global wheat production, a study has suggested…Climate trends in some countries were big enough to wipe out gains from other factors, such as technology, they said.
Many people dismiss crop failure and food shortage predictions because they figure a technological magic bullet will come along and save us. The bolded words above show why that’s a dangerous and foolish line of thought.
The team carried out a large statistical analysis that tried to isolate the effects of temperature and precipitation on crops, independent of all other factors such as changes in technology and land management.
“We can see how much these variables affect crops… for example, for a crop like wheat, a degree (Celsius) of warming on a global average translates to about a 5% loss in production.”
They came to that conclusion by analyzing what’s already taken place:
“On a global average, we see that wheat production would be about 5% higher if we had not seen the warming since 1980. We see about the same for maize or corn.”