Global warming reduces wheat production markedly if no adaptation takes place

Future global wheat harvest is likely to be reduced by six per cent per each degree Celsius of local temperature increase if no adaptation takes place. Worldwide this would correspond to 42 million tons of yield reduction, which equals a quarter of current global wheat trade. 

Wheat plays an important role in feeding the world, but climate change threatens its future harvest. Without adaptation, global aggregate wheat production is projected to decline on average by six per cent for each additional degree Celsius . Worldwide this would correspond to 42 million tons yield reduction for one 1°C global warming. 

This result has been generated by an international research consortium to which Natural Resources Institute Finland (previously known as MTT Agrifood Research Finland) substantially contributed. The results were published online in the high impact journal Nature Climate Change.

Losses expected throughout the world

The researchers found out that in response to global increases, grain yield declines are predicted for most regions in the world. Considering present global production of 701 million tons of wheat in 2012, this means a possible reduction of 42 million tons per one degree Celsius of temperature increase.

"To put this in perspective, the amount is equal to a quarter of global wheat trade, which reached 147 million tons in 2013. In addition, wheat yield declines due to climate change are likely to be larger than previously thought and should be expected earlier, starting even with small increases in temperature," says Prof. Dr. Reimund Rötter from Natural Resources Institute Finland.

"Therefore, it is essential to understand how different climate factors interact and impact food production when reaching decisions on how to adapt to the effects of climate change."

Increased variability weakens stability in grain supply

In the study, the researchers systematically tested 30 different wheat crop models against field experiments in which growing season mean temperatures ranged from 15 °C to 26 °C. The temperature impact on yield decline varied widely across field test conditions. In addition, year-to-year variability increased at some locations because of greater yield reductions in warmer years and lesser reductions in cooler years.

"Increased yield variability is critical economically as it could weaken regional and global stability in wheat grain supply and food security, amplifying market and price fluctuations, as experienced during recent years," says Professor Rötter.

In its recent Assessement Report (AR5), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that global mean temperature may rise up to 5 °Celsius by the end of this century.

"Timely and adequate adaptation, such as cultivating more heat-tolerant wheat cultivars could substantially reduce climate change induced risks," Rötter says.

Unique and multi-locational study

Agrosystems modellers, Dr. Fulu Tao, Dr. Taru Palosuo and Prof. Dr. Reimund Rötter from Natural Resources Institute Finland participated to this collaborative research under the umbrella of AgMIP, The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project coordinated by Columbia University, NASA and University of Florida, USA.
Apart from Finland, scientists from Germany, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, UK, Columbia, Mexico, India, China, Australia, Canada and USA participated in this global study. 

In a unique study set-up, the scientists first compared simulation results from a large ensemble of wheat crop growth models with experimental data, including artificial heating experiments and multi-locational field trials. They found that discrepancies between observation and simulation varied among individual models, whereby deviations increased with increasing growing season temperature.

Most reliable estimates of observed yields over the range of temperature regimes were achieved by using the multi-model ensemble median estimate. Based on these test results, scientists subsequently applied the multi-model ensemble to estimate wheat yields under increasing temperature in the main cultivation areas of the world. The outcome of this study is presented in the article "Rising temperatures reduce global wheat production", S. Asseng et al., Nature Climate Change, published online in December 2014.

Currently, a related, but more detailed European-wide study on adaptation options for and other field crops is undertaken by the knowledge hub and project "Modelling European agriculture with for food security" (MACSUR).  


Explore further

More frequent extreme and adverse weather conditions threaten Europe's wheat production

More information: S. Asseng et al., "Rising temperatures reduce global wheat production", Nature Climate Change, published online 22 December 2014. DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2470
Journal information: Nature Climate Change

Provided by Natural Resources Institute Finland
Citation: Global warming reduces wheat production markedly if no adaptation takes place (2015, January 12) retrieved 24 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-01-global-wheat-production-markedly.html
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Jan 12, 2015
Except the worlds deserts are rolling back and crop production is up due to the extra CO2. Nature isn't cooperating with the IPCC predictions.

Jan 12, 2015
Global warming reduces wheat production markedly...
Yeah? How much wheat can you grow in the snow?

Sheesh, nowhere have a read more stupid agricultural claims of doom and gloom than here at phys.org. Anyone in agriculture who knows anything about agriculture knows that California's Central Valley is a model for agriculture in hot and arid climates. It also happens to be some of the most productive (and lucrative) farmland in the world.

...if no adaptation takes place
Seriously? Like no farmer has ever bothered to make adaptations to increase his yield (aka, profits)? Just how stupid do you think people are?

I wish I could give this article a sharply negative ranking. 5 negative stars!


Jan 12, 2015
I am sure glad we have REALLY SMART guys like the two above to save us from those folk with educations!

Jan 12, 2015
Who to believe: The International professional scientists, or somebody who calls himself JamesG?

Jan 12, 2015
"Anyone in agriculture who knows anything about agriculture knows that California's Central Valley is a model for agriculture in hot and arid climates. It also happens to be some of the most productive (and lucrative) farmland in the world."
--------------------------------------------

I guess ooba has never watched as the Central Valley got ruined by Agribusiness. When I was born there, it was a verdant valley of family farms. Now, Big Money has taken over, changed laws to give publicly-subsidized water to corporate farms, and loaded it with pollution.


Jan 12, 2015
I guess ooba has never watched as the Central Valley got ruined by Agribusiness. When I was born there, it was a verdant valley of family farms. Now, Big Money has taken over, changed laws to give publicly-subsidized water to corporate farms, and loaded it with pollution.
Ooh, now it's about the "big corporatiion" boogeyman? Seriously?

Here, educate yourself:

http://en.wikiped...iculture

"There are 6,000 almond growers that produce more than 1900 million pounds a year, about 90 percent of the world's supply."


Jan 12, 2015
Wheat plays an important role in feeding the world,


So does rice.
Research to adapt rice is on-going in the Philippines and created 'golden rice'.

""there is already profound impact for several million farmers worldwide who have adopted one of the first technologies of the second Green Revolution—flood-tolerant rice.""
"In another bold prediction, he envisions the start of GR3.0 sometime around 2030, when farmers start planting far more robust C4 and nitrogen-fixing rice varieties and consumers begin finding nutritious rice in the marketplace."
http://irri.org/n...r-behind

Adaptation never stops.

BTW, rice is grown in California.

Jan 12, 2015
Yes, Eikka, seriously. The 160 Acre Limitation for Federally subsidized water was the cornerstone for the development of the Family Farm in California. It got overturned by a federal judge (who happened to be my neighbor), to give those rights to huge corporations.

West Side farms have polluted their lands with chemicals, and the runoff is contaminated with toxic Selenium, washed down with the federally-subsidized water. When the land has been abused to its point of worthlessness, the corporations will write it off, so they won't pay taxes on it, and fly to the Cayman Islands with "their" money.

Jan 12, 2015
Yes, Eikka, seriously. The 160 Acre Limitation for Federally subsidized water was the cornerstone for the development of the Family Farm in California. It got overturned by a federal judge (who happened to be my neighbor), to give those rights to huge corporations.

West Side farms have polluted their lands with chemicals, and the runoff is contaminated with toxic Selenium, washed down with the federally-subsidized water. When the land has been abused to its point of worthlessness, the corporations will write it off, so they won't pay taxes on it, and fly to the Cayman Islands with "their" money.
So? Pollution is not a new phenomenon. Thankfully, when enough people get upset by it, they force the polluters to modify their practices. Again, this is not new. this is why agencies like The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board exists.

http://www.waterb...ex.shtml


Jan 12, 2015
Many fail to understand the differences between Family Farms and Corporate Farms.

Family Farms produce food. Corporate Farms produce profits. It is in the ultimate objective. It is the basic mental set of the operators.

Family Farms are long-term affairs, tended with the knowledge it will be passed on to others. Corporate farms are just tools for profit, the real objective. You may try looking up terms such as "farm subsidies" and "New York City", or even "Fifth Avenue".

Jan 12, 2015
"Selenium is a trace element that is essential in small amounts, but like all essential elements, it is toxic at high levels. Humans and animals require selenium for the function of a number of selenium-dependent enzymes, also known as selenoproteins. During selenoprotein synthesis, selenocysteine is incorporated into a very specific location in the amino acid sequence in order to form a functional protein. Unlike animals, plants do not appear to require selenium for survival. However, when selenium is present in the soil, plants incorporate it non-specifically into compounds that usually contain sulfur"
http://lpi.oregon...elenium/
"Scientists, within the last decade, are beginning to understand just how vital selenium is to immune response and thyroid functioning. The overall conclusion is that selenium is a dynamic and essential component of proper growth, development, immune function, and metabolism."
http://www.stopth...elenium/

Jan 12, 2015
Many fail to understand the differences between Family Farms and Corporate Farms.
So now you are claiming there are 6,000 "big corporation" almond growers in the central valley? That's a riot!

Family Farms produce food. Corporate Farms produce profits. It is in the ultimate objective. It is the basic mental set of the operators.
Oh, so family farms aren't about producing profit? Are you kidding me?

Family Farms are long-term affairs, tended with the knowledge it will be passed on to others. Corporate farms are just tools for profit, the real objective. You may try looking up terms such as "farm subsidies" and "New York City", or even "Fifth Avenue".
Corporations need profit sustainability to survive, moron. That's right, they're in it for the long term.


Jan 12, 2015
Look up Kesterson, so you can be educated.

Those of you not in these fields apparently do not see how silly your wiki searches make you look. Pass it on to otto.

And Ooba.

Jan 12, 2015
Family Farms are long-term affairs

Not when the federal govt imposes death taxes forcing children to sell the farm to pay taxes.
The 'family farm' I was raised on sold milk for cheese to Land O Lakes and then to Frigo.
Family farms, ffs, are heavily subsidized with price supports, but in order to make a profit and stay in business, ffs needed to increase the acreage cultivated to feed their beef, or milk cows or hogs. Most ffs had to incorporate for tax reasons to keep inheritance taxes at bay.
Only boutique ffs can exist where rich 'liberals' are willing to pay 10 times the price for 'local' food.

Jan 12, 2015
Look up Kesterson, so you can be educated.
It was a project developed in the 1940's (the supposed golden age of family farms, according to you). It has served as a warning throughout the Ag sector concerning water resources, and there are continuing long term efforts to clean it up.

"Since the closure of Kesterson, officials have concentrated on identifying selenium hot spots throughout the West, devising remediation strategies and furthering the scientific understanding of its effect on fish and other wildlife. The federal government is central to the effort, particularly Reclamation, which manages many irrigation projects."

http://www.watere...eservoir


Jan 12, 2015
effect on fish and other wildlife

It seems the best remediation is to plant food crops on the selenium 'polluted' soil as so many people need more selenium in their diet.

Jan 12, 2015
Those 'family farmers' in Oregon were screwed over the by the govt.
The govt build ups all these dams in the west to turn the desert into a garden. Sucker in 'family farmers' to build farms with the water and after a few decades, down stream fish are more important so the govt cuts off the water supply.
Lesson that should be learned is don't trust the govt, especially when it controls your water supply.

Jan 12, 2015
"It was a project developed in the 1940's (the supposed golden age of family farms, according to you). It has served as a warning throughout the Ag sector concerning water resources, and there are continuing long term efforts to clean it up."
------------------------------------------------

Kesterson was a Wildlife Refuge, and corporate farms used it as a dumping ground for their toxic Selenium.

And thanks for admitting it needs to be cleaned up. Do you think the corporate farms will do it for us?

And somebody educate rggy, for all our sake. This quoting wiki without understanding or context is just sophomoric.

KDK
Jan 12, 2015
Warm, moist climates always produce more in the way of crops, all else being equal! Science is just about dead in this age of ideological and political corruption!

Jan 12, 2015
Kesterson was a Wildlife Refuge, and corporate farms used it as a dumping ground for their toxic Selenium.
Wrong, it was an ARTIFICIAL wetland created for the purpose of Ag runoff. Originally, it was semiarid grassland.

And thanks for admitting it needs to be cleaned up. Do you think the corporate farms will do it for us?
The corporate farms didn't cause it, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation created it. Ronny Reagan didn't support a drain being built, and so the concentrating contamination had no place to go.

And somebody educate rggy, for all our sake. This quoting wiki without understanding or context is just sophomoric.
Idiot. Wiki is a perfectly acceptable reference, as the articles are heavily footnoted with references. If you have a problem with an article, show that it is false, or that it misrepresents the facts.


Jan 18, 2015
Thank God everything (including humans) adapt quite nicely...

Jan 18, 2015
Oooba thinks if he reads something he understands it completely, even if the jargon is very specific to certain fields.

Have you not seen how others quote it without quoting all of it, or quote something and allege it means other than its true meaning? It is ignorance which does this.

I think Oooooba should go see Kesterson, and the dead wildlife, courtesy of Agribusiness!

Jan 18, 2015
Oooba thinks if he reads something he understands it completely, even if the jargon is very specific to certain fields.

Have you not seen how others quote it without quoting all of it, or quote something and allege it means other than its true meaning? It is ignorance which does this.

I think Oooooba should go see Kesterson, and the dead wildlife, courtesy of Agribusiness!
Here, you're doing little more than admitting you're an idiot arguing for the sake of argument, not because you have a valid argument.


Jan 18, 2015
I am speaking from reality, not what somebody wrote, or what you assumed he meant. My criticism sprung from the use of it by another, who would fail to see the the refutation of his point in the next paragraph.

Selective cutting and pasting is too often put forth as "knowledge".

Jan 18, 2015
I am speaking from reality, not what somebody wrote, or what you assumed he meant. My criticism sprung from the use of it by another, who would fail to see the the refutation of his point in the next paragraph.

Selective cutting and pasting is too often put forth as "knowledge".
Complete non sequitur chatterbot gibberish.


Jan 18, 2015
"Complete non sequitur chatterbot gibberish."
----------------------------------

Right out of Ooooba's buzzword generator. It sure is easier than discussion.

Jan 18, 2015
Right out of Ooooba's buzzword generator. It sure is easier than discussion.
Sorry, I don't speak chatterbot.

Why don't you try to explain what it is you were trying to say?


Jan 18, 2015

Selective cutting and pasting is too often put forth as "knowledge".

Jan 18, 2015
Selective cutting and pasting is too often put forth as "knowledge"
LOL. Typical chatterbot response, demonstrating it has no comprehension skills.

Go away chatterbot. Find your chatterbot pal, Captain_Stumpy.


Jan 18, 2015
quoting wiki without understanding or context is just sophomoric.


I don't use Wiki references.

I do the same as physorg, within 1000 characters. Physorg reposts articles they want to promote.
I post excerpts from articles to counter phyorg, or others, to 1) give credit where credit is due and 2) expose the ignorant.

Jan 18, 2015
I was not referring to you, but to otto and others.

Exposing yourself is against the law.

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