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Uncertainty in Simulating Wheat Yields Under Climate ChangeProjections of climate change impacts on crop yields are inherently uncertain1. Uncertainty is often quantified when projecting future greenhouse gas emissions and their influence on climate2. However, multi-model uncertainty analysis of crop responses to climate change is rare because systematic and objective comparisons among process-based crop simulation models1,3 are difficult4. Here we present the largest standardized model intercomparison for climate change impacts so far. We found that individual crop models are able to simulate measured wheat grain yields accurately under a range of environments, particularly if the input information is sufficient. However, simulated climate change impacts vary across models owing to differences in model structures and parameter values. A greater proportion of the uncertainty in climate change impact projections was due to variations among crop models than to variations among downscaled general circulation models. Uncertainties in simulated impacts increased with CO2 concentrations and associated warming. These impact uncertainties can be reduced by improving temperature and CO2 relationships in models and better quantified through use of multi-model ensembles. Less uncertainty in describing how climate change may affect agricultural productivity will aid adaptation strategy development and policymaking.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Asseng, S. (Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Ewert, F. (Bonn Univ. Germany)
Rosenzweig, Cynthia (NASA Goddard Inst. for Space Studies New York, NY United States)
Jones, J. W. (Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Hatfield, J. W. (Agricultural Research Service Ames, IA, United States)
Ruane, A. C. (NASA Goddard Inst. for Space Studies New York, NY United States)
Boote, K. J. (Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Thornburn, P. J. (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Dutton Park, Queensland, Australia)
Rotter, R. P. (MTT Agrifood Research FInalnd Helsinki, Finland)
Cammarano, D. (Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Brisson, N. (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique Thiverval-Grignon, France)
Basso, B. (Michigan State Univ. East Lansing, MI, United States)
Martre, P. (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique Paris, France)
Angulo, C. (Bonn Univ. Germany)
Bertuzzi, P. (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique Avignon, France)
Biernath, C. (Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen Neuherberg, Germany)
Challinor, A. J. (Leeds Univ. United Kingdom)
Doltra, J. (Cantabrian Agricultural Research and Training Centre Muriedas, Spain)
Gayler, S. (Tuebingen Univ. Germany)
Goldberg, R. (NASA Goddard Inst. for Space Studies New York, NY United States)
Grant, R. (Alberta Univ. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
Heng, L. (International Atomic Energy Agency Vienna, Austria)
Hooker, J. (Reading Univ. United Kingdom)
Hunt, L. A. (Guelph Univ. Ontario, Canada)
Ingwersen, J. (Hohenheim Univ. Stuttgart, Germany)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2014
Publication Date
June 9, 2013
Publication Information
Publication: Nature Climate Change
Volume: 3
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
exhaust gases
greenhouse effect
climate change
exhaust emission
farm crops

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