Biotech Updates

Global Climate Change Impact on Maize and Wheat Expected Within 10 Years, NASA Study Finds

November 3, 2021

A study conducted by NASA and published in Nature Food predicts that the production of maize and wheat will be affected by climate change as early as 2030 under a high greenhouse gas emissions scenario.

The study reveals that maize crop yields are projected to decline 24%, while wheat could potentially see growth of about 17%. Using two advanced climate and agricultural models, the study found that the change in yields is due to projected increases in temperature, shifts in rainfall patterns, and elevated surface carbon dioxide concentrations from human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. These changes could make it more difficult to grow maize, but could expand wheat's growing range.

The team's projections also showed soybean and rice yields will decline in some regions. For maize and wheat, the climate effect was much clearer, with most of the model results pointing in the same direction. Maize is produced in countries nearer the equator. North and Central America, West Africa, Central Asia, Brazil, and China will potentially see their maize yields decline in the coming years as average temperatures rise across these regions. Wheat, which grows best in temperate climates, may see a broader area where it can be grown as temperatures rise, including the Northern United States and Canada, North China Plains, Central Asia, Southern Australia, and East Africa.

For more details, read the news article from NASA.

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