By Tim Radford / <a href="climatenewsnetwork.net/crops-at-risk-from-changing-climate/">Climate News Network</a>
Source: Read full article at Truthdig
Climate change is leaving crops at risk. Driven by global warming – and with it ever greater extremes of heat, drought and rainfall – the rising mercury can explain up to half of all variations in harvest yields worldwide.
Unusually cold nights, ever greater numbers of extremely hot summer days, weeks with no rainfall, or torrents of storm-driven precipitation, account for somewhere between a fifth to 49% of yield losses for maize, rice, spring wheat and soy beans.
And once international scientists had eliminated the effect of temperature averages across the whole growing season, they still found that heatwaves, drought and torrential downfall accounted for 18% to 43% of losses.
In a second study, US researchers have a warning for the Midwest’s maize farmers: too much rain is just as bad for the harvest as too much heat and a long dry spell.
“While Africa’s share of global maize production may be small, the largest part of that production goes to human consumption … making it critical for food security”
In a third study, British researchers have identified a new climate hazard for one of the tropical world’s staples: climate change has…