US Corn, Cotton & Soybean Yields Could Decline Up To 82% Due to Climate Change
photo: Wirawan Purwanto via flickr
You've undoubtedly seen forecasts about declines in crop yields due to climate change -- whether increased temperatures, increased intensity of flooding in places, or radically decreased availability of water in others, crop yields could take a pretty big hit. Usually these dire predictions are for places "over there". However, new research coming out of North Carolina State University, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that the United States could see stark crop yield declines as well:Agriculture and resource economist Michael Roberts and economist Dr. Wolfram Schenkler determined the impact of warming temperatures on corn, soybeans and cotton. They found that each had a critical temperature threshold above which crop yields started plummeting: 29°C for corn, 30°C for soybeans and 32°C for cotton.
Under slower global warming scenarios, Roberts and Schenkler project that yields for these crops could decline 30-46%. Under rapid global warming scenarios things got really bad, with yields dropping 63-82%.
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