Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Quantifying the impacts of compound extremes on agriculture

TitleQuantifying the impacts of compound extremes on agriculture
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Volume25
Number2
Pages551-564
Abstract / Summary

Agricultural production and food prices are affected by hydroclimatic extremes. There has been a growing amount of literature measuring the impacts of individual extreme events (heat stress or water stress) on agricultural and human systems. Yet, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the significance and the magnitude of the impacts of compound extremes. This study combines a fine-scale weather product with outputs of a hydrological model to construct functional metrics of individual and compound hydroclimatic extremes for agriculture. Then, a yield response function is estimated with individual and compound metrics, focusing on corn in the United States during the 1981–2015 period. Supported by statistical evidence, the findings suggest that metrics of compound hydroclimatic extremes are better predictors of corn yield variations than metrics of individual extremes. The results also confirm that wet heat is more damaging than dry heat for corn. This study shows the average yield damage from heat stress has been up to four times more severe when combined with water stress.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.5194/hess-25-551-2021
DOI10.5194/hess-25-551-2021
Funding Program: 
Journal: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Year of Publication: 2021
Volume: 25
Number: 2
Pages: 551-564
Publication Date: 02/2021

Agricultural production and food prices are affected by hydroclimatic extremes. There has been a growing amount of literature measuring the impacts of individual extreme events (heat stress or water stress) on agricultural and human systems. Yet, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the significance and the magnitude of the impacts of compound extremes. This study combines a fine-scale weather product with outputs of a hydrological model to construct functional metrics of individual and compound hydroclimatic extremes for agriculture. Then, a yield response function is estimated with individual and compound metrics, focusing on corn in the United States during the 1981–2015 period. Supported by statistical evidence, the findings suggest that metrics of compound hydroclimatic extremes are better predictors of corn yield variations than metrics of individual extremes. The results also confirm that wet heat is more damaging than dry heat for corn. This study shows the average yield damage from heat stress has been up to four times more severe when combined with water stress.

DOI: 10.5194/hess-25-551-2021
Citation:
Haqiqi, I, D Grogan, T Hertel, and W Schlenker.  2021.  "Quantifying the impacts of compound extremes on agriculture."  Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 25(2): 551-564.  https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-25-551-2021.