Jul 2, 2014

Vulnerability of African maize yield to climate change and variability during 1961–2010

Wenjiao Shi, Fulu Tao
Food Security
  • Uses a database of maize yields and climate variables in the maize growing seasons to assess the vulnerability of African maize yields to climate change and variability with different levels of management at country scale between 1961 and 2010
  • Finds that most countries, where soil fertility had been declining owing to low levels of fertilizer use over many years and limited water resources, had decreasing maize yields
  • Finds that the negative impacts of increasing temperature and decreasing precipitation and SPEI on maize yields progressively increased at the whole continent scale over the time period studied
  • Finds that during the maize growing seasons 1961–2010, each 1°C of Tmean increase resulted in yield losses of over 10% in eight countries and 5-10% in 10 countries, but yields increased by more than 5% in four relatively cool countries
  • Finds that decreases of 10% average P resulted in more than 5% decreases in yields in 20 countries and each decrease of 0.5 SPEI resulted in over 30% losses of maize yields in 32 countries