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Global Crop Production: Adaptation to Temperature Increase Is Possible by Maintaining the Current Growing PeriodsIncreasing temperature trends are expected to impact yields of major field crops by affecting various plant processes, such as phenology and growth. However, future projections, especially at the global scale, do not consider any agronomic adaptation in farming practices. We use an ensemble of seven Global Gridded Crop Models (GGCMs) contributing to the AgMIP-Gridded project to quantify the impacts and adaptation potential of field crops under increasing temperature. We study how uniform warming scenarios up to 6 K affect the productivity and growing period duration of five major crops. The design of the experiment aims at understanding adaptation measures targeted to temperature-driven impacts and therefore leaves out changes in any other climate variable. We find that, without adaptation the dominant effect of temperature increase is to shorten the growing period and to reduce yields and production, consistently across crops and regions. We then test the potential of two agronomic measures to contrast warming-induced yield reduction, assuming that (i) cultivars with adjusted phenology would be used to regain the reference growing period duration; (ii) rainfed systems would be converted to irrigated. Despite substantial uncertainties in model parametrization and little agreement in spatial patterns, at the global aggregation, model results are robust. We find that up to 3 K of temperature increase, production losses could be fully compensated by maintaining the original crop growing period. Irrigation would also compensate production losses, but would not reduce the temperature impacts. Across regions, the model ensemble estimates larger adaptation potentials from unchanged growing periods in continental and temperate regions, than in tropical and arid regions, where also irrigation has respectively little effects and availability.
Document ID
Document Type
Accepted Manuscript (Version with final changes)
Sara Minoli ORCID(Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) Potsdam, Germany)
Christoph Müller ORCID(Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) Potsdam, Germany)
Joshua Elliott (University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Alex C Ruane ORCID(Goddard Institute for Space Studies New York, New York, United States)
Jonas Jägermeyr ORCID(University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Florian Zabel ORCID(Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Munich, Germany)
Marie Dury (Université de Liège Liège, Belgium)
Christian Folberth ORCID(International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Laxenburg, Austria)
Louis Francois ORCID(Université de Liège Liège, Belgium)
Tobias Hank ORCID(Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich Munich, Germany)
Ingrid Jacquemin (Université de Liège Liège, Belgium)
Wenfeng Liu ORCID(Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology Dübendorf, Switzerland)
Stefan Olin ORCID(Lund University Lund, Sweden)
Thomas A M Pugh ORCID(University of Birmingham Birmingham, United Kingdom)
Date Acquired
September 12, 2019
Publication Date
September 30, 2019
Publication Information
Publication: Earth's Future
Volume: 7
Issue: 12
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: SCMD-EarthScienceSystem_281945
Distribution Limits
Use by or on behalf of the US Gov. Permitted.
Technical Review
Professional Review
Temperature increase
Growing period
Crop yield

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