Dec 1, 2012

The Influence of Climate Change on Global Crop Productivity

David B. Lobell and Sharon M. Gourdji
Plant Physiology
  • Outlines the mechanisms by which climate change trends affect crop yields and present estimates of past and future impacts of climate and CO2 trends
  • Focuses on global scale grain productivity, notwithstanding the many other scales and outcomes of interest to food security
  • Finds that over the next few decades, CO2 trends will likely increase global yields by roughly 1.8% per decade
  • Finds that at the same time, warming trends are likely to reduce global yields by roughly 1.5% per decade without effective adaptation, with a plausible range from roughly 0% to 4%
  • Finds that the upper end of this range is half of the expected 8% rate of gain from technological and management improvements over the next few decades