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Extreme weather conditions, climate change account for 40% of global wheat production variability

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July 4, 2017 European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)  See full ScienceDaily article here

A new approach for identifying the impacts of climate change and extreme weather on the variability of global and regional wheat production has been proposed by researchers. The study analyzed the effect of heat and water anomalies on crop losses over a 30-year period… [the study] finds that heat stress concurrent with drought or water excess can explain about 40% of the changes in wheat yields from one year to another.

….One finding is that in contrast to the common perception, water excess affects wheat production more than drought in several countries. Excessive precipitation and greater cloud cover, especially during sensitive development stages of the crop, are major contributors to reduced yields, as they help pests and disease proliferate and make it harder for the plants to get the oxygen and light they need….

M Zampieri, A Ceglar, F Dentener, A Toreti. Wheat yield loss attributable to heat waves, drought and water excess at the global, national and subnational scales. Environmental Research Letters, 2017; 12 (6): 064008 DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa723b


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