28 February 2019

Differences, or Lack Thereof, In Wheat and Maize Yields Under Three Low-Warming Scenarios


The availability of climate model experiments under three alternative scenarios stabilizing at warming targets inspired by the COP21 agreements (a 1.5 C not exceed, a 1.5 C with overshoot and a 2.0 C) makes it possible to assess future expected changes in global yields for two staple crops, wheat, and maize. In this study, an empirical model of the relationship between crop yield anomalies and temperature and precipitation changes, with or without the inclusion of CO 2 fertilization effects, is used to produce ensembles of time series of yield outcomes on a yearly basis over the course of the 21st century, for each scenario. The results seem to suggest that for globally averaged yields of these two grains the lower targets put forward by the Paris agreement does not change substantially the expected impacts on yields that are caused by warming temperatures under the pre-existing 2.0 °C target when CO2 fertilization effects are considered.

Claudia Tebaldi
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Tebaldi, C, and D Lobell.  2018.  "Differences, or Lack Thereof, In Wheat and Maize Yields Under Three Low-Warming Scenarios."  Environmental Research Letters 13(6): 065001.  https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aaba48.