Mar 6, 2017

Determining climate effects on US total agricultural productivity

Xin-Zhong Liang, You Wu, Robert G. Chambers, Daniel L. Schmoldt, Wei Gao, Chaoshun Liu, Yan-An Liu, Chao Sun, Jennifer A. Kennedy
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • States that quantifying the relationships between total factor productivity (TFP) of the US agricultural economy and climate is critical to understanding whether growth will continue
  • Builds a multivariate regression model predicting the growth of agricultural TFP based on a physical understanding of its historical relationship with climate
  • Shows that temperature and precipitation in distinct agricultural regions and seasons explain about 70% of variations in TFP growth during 1981–2010
  • Finds that to date, the aggregate effects of these regional climate trends on TFP have been outweighed by improvements in technology
  • Also finds, however, that projected climate changes could cause TFP to drop by an average 2.84 to 4.34% per year under medium to high emissions scenarios