Study: Warmer Climate Could Hurt Yields

Aug 29, 2017
Originally published on November 16, 2017 12:04 pm

Higher temperatures thanks to climate change could cut down the output of farmers the world over.

An international group of researchers compiled dozens of studies to see what happens to yields of corn, wheat, rice, and soybeans as the global climate grows warmer.

They found that every time global temperatures go up 1 degree Celsius, not quite 2 degrees Fahrenheit, crop yields fall. On average, three percent for soybeans, six percent for wheat, seven percent for corn.

These numbers don’t account for the boost plants can see from higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air. But the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests any gains American farmers earn by adopting better farming technology will first have to make up for what’s lost to a warmer world.

Copyright 2017 KMUW | NPR for Wichita. To see more, visit KMUW | NPR for Wichita.