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Climate Analogues Suggest Limited Potential for Intensification of Production on Current Croplands Under Climate ChangeClimate change could pose a major challenge to efforts towards strongly increase food production over the coming decades. However, model simulations of future climate-impacts on crop yields differ substantially in the magnitude and even direction of the projected change. Combining observations of current maximum-attainable yield with climate analogues, we provide a complementary method of assessing the effect of climate change on crop yields. Strong reductions in attainable yields of major cereal crops are found across a large fraction of current cropland by 2050. These areas are vulnerable to climate change and have greatly reduced opportunity for agricultural intensification. However, the total land area, including regions not currently used for crops, climatically suitable for high attainable yields of maize, wheat and rice is similar by 2050 to the present-day. Large shifts in land-use patterns and crop choice will likely be necessary to sustain production growth rates and keep pace with demand.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Pugh, T. A. M.
(Karlsruhe Inst. of Technology Germany)
Mueller, C.
(Potsdam-Inst. fuer Klimafolgenforschung Potsdam, Germany)
Elliott, J.
(Chicago Univ. Chicago, IL, United States)
Deryng, D.
(Chicago Univ. Chicago, IL, United States)
Folberth, C.
(International Inst. for Applied Systems Analysis Laxenburg, Austria)
Olin, S.
(Lund Univ. Hospital Lund, Sweden)
Schmid, E.
(University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria)
Arneth, A.
(Karlsruhe Inst. of Technology Germany)
Date Acquired
December 6, 2016
Publication Date
September 20, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Nature Communications
Volume: 7
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
land-use patterns
crop yields
climate change
crop choice
climate impacts
agricultural intensification
food production
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