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784. Impact of Simultaneous Occurrence of Extreme Weather Events on Crops

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784. Impact of Simultaneous Occurrence of Extreme Weather Events on Crops

Extreme weather events have been observed in all regions of the world. The impact on crop yields when these extreme events occur simultaneously is still unknown. An international team led by Matias Heino and Matti Kummu of Aalto University used global weather data and yield data for major crops to estimate the impact of simultaneous extreme weather events and published their findings in Scientific Reports.

The study used global weather data and yield data for maize, rice, soybean and wheat from 1980 to 2009 to estimate the impact of hot and dry weather and cold and wet weather combined with extreme weather events. The results showed that the simultaneous occurrence of extreme high temperatures and drought led to a global decline in yields for all crops studied. On the other hand, under extreme cold and wet conditions, the researchers reported that while global crop yield reductions were observed, they were smaller in magnitude and the effects of this combination were more uncertain and inconsistent.

The likelihood of wheat growers experiencing extreme heat or drought during the growing season increased sixfold from 1980 to 2009 across the study institutions, forcing farmers to deal with extreme heat and drought during the growing season. The risk for maize, rice and soybeans also doubled, although the increase was less than for wheat.

The researchers also examined the impact of these conditions on crop yields and found that extreme heat and drought reduced wheat yields by about 4% overall, and even more in relatively cooler regions, particularly Russia and China. Similarly, maize yields were reduced by about 3%, with greater losses in regions of North America, Eastern Europe and China.

In this study, the authors point out the potential negative effects that increased climate change could have on food production around the world.


Crop yields reduced by climate extremes, finds study

Heino, M., Kinnunen, P., Anderson, W. et al. Increased probability of hot and dry weather extremes during the growing season threatens global crop yields. Sci Rep 13, 3583 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-29378-2

Contributor: KANAMORI Norihito (Information and Public Relations Office)