Research Highlights: Wheat Yield Drops by An Average of 5.7% with the World Getting 1℃ Warmer
November 02,2016

Science and Technology Daily ran a front page story on the breakthroughs made by Professor Yan Zhu and her research team a few days ago in the study of the influence on global crop yield exerted by climate change, October 10th.

It is reported the world has gotten 0.85 warmer over the past 130 years and the number is going to rise in future. It has become inevitable that the average global temperature will experience a rise of 2. Global wheat yield drops by an average of 5.7% in the wake of 1 rise in the temperature, said Chinese and foreign scientists after research, the work of which has been released on the latest Nature Climate Change, a leading journal in climate change.

About 30 models are applied all over the world to conduct quantitative evaluation for the potential effect the temperature rise has on crop production, resulting in too varied data to rely on, introduced by Professor Zhu. What means a lot is to evaluate how temperature rise influences crop production in a more reliable way and scientifically analyze the relationship between global climate change and food safety production.

From levels of world, country and station, NAU research group, along with scientists from 49 Chinese and international units systemically compared the performance of different methods over the past 30 years in evaluating how temperature rise affects wheat production, proposing a collection integrating different methods to make the evaluation more reliable.

Research has shown a rise of 1 in temperature leads to an average drop of 4.1%-6.4% in global wheat yield regardless of the fertilizer efficiency of CO2 and adaptation measures, while forming the collection by synthesizing the average effect of the result from three different methods, it got an average drop of about 5.7%, 95% confidence interval ranges from 4.0% to 6.9%. Over 7 hundred million tons of wheat are produced in today’s world, this drop of 5.7% loses the world nearly 4 million tons of wheat.

This evaluation method has been extended to other grain crops like rice and corn so that the potential effect the climate change has on China’s grain production can be put into quantization and accurately analyzed in main producing areas of rice and wheat in China, and the influence on grain crops production in different regions exerted by extreme weather, especially extreme high-temperature, can get close attention.