Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Potential impact of climate change on world food supply


A global assessment of the potential impact of climate change on world food supply suggests that doubling of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration will lead to only a small decrease in global crop production. But developing countries are likely to bear the brunt of the problem, and simulations of the effect of adaptive measures by farmers imply that these will do little to reduce the disparity between developed and developing countries.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Parry, M. L., Carter, T. R. & Konijn, N. T. (eds) The Impact of Climatic Variations on Agriculture Vols 1 & (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1988).

  2. Adams, R. M. et al. Nature 345, 219–224 (1990).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Climate Change: The IPCC Impacts Assessment (eds Tegart, W. J. McG., Sheldon, G. W. & Griffiths, D.C.) (Aust. Govt Publishing Serv., Canberra, 1990).

  4. Kane, S., Reilly, J. & Tobey, J. Report AER-No. 647 (US Dept of Agric. Econ, Res. Serv., Washington DC, 1991).

  5. Reilly, J. & Hohmann, N. Am. econ. Ass. Pap. Proc. 83, 306–312 (1993).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Rosenzweig, C. & Iglesias, A. (eds) Implications of Climate Change for International Agriculture: Crop Modeling Study (US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC, in the press).

  7. Climate Change: The IPCC Scientific Assessment (eds Houghton, J. T., Jenkins, G. J. & Ephraums, J. J.) (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990).

  8. IPCC Climate Change 1992 (eds Houghton, J. T., Callander, B. A. & Varney, S. K.) (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992).

  9. Acock, B. & Allen, L. H. Jr in Direct Effects of Increasing Carbon Dioxide on Vegetation (eds Strain, B. R. & Cure, J. D.) 33–97 (US Dept. of Energy DOE/ER-0238, Washington DC, 1985).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Cure, J. D. & Acock, B. Agric. For. Met. 38, 127–145 (1986).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Hansen, J., J. geophys. Res. 93, 9341–9364 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. International Benchmark Sites Network for Agrotechnology Transfer (IBSNAT) Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer Version 2.1 (DSSAT V2.1) (Dept Agron. & Soil Sci., Coll. Trap. Agric. & Hum. Resources, Univ. Hawaii, Honolulu, 1989).

  13. Peart, R. M., Jones, J. W., Curry, R. B., Boote, K. & Allen, L. H. Jr. in The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States. Appendix C Vol. 1 (eds Smith, J. B. & Tirpak, D. A.) (US Envir. Protection Ag., Washington DC, 1989).

    Google Scholar 

  14. Rogers, H. H., Bingham, G. E., Cure, J. D., Smith, J. M. & Surano, K. A. J. envir. Qual. 12, 569–574 (1983).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Fischer, G., Frohberg, K., Keyzer, M. A. & Parikh, K. S. Linked National Models: A Tool for International Food Policy Analysis (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1988).

    Google Scholar 

  16. Food and Agriculture Organization Fourth World Food Survey. (UN, Rome, 1984); Fifth World Food Survey (UN, Rome, 1987).

  17. United Nations World Population Prospects 1988 (UN, New York, 1989).

  18. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank World Population Projections (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore, 1990).

  19. AGROSTAT/PC (Food and Agricultural Organization, United Nations, Rome, 1991).

  20. Hansen, J. et al. Mon. Weath. Rev. 111(4), 609–662 (1983).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Manabe, S. & Wetherald, R. T. J. atmos. Sci. 44, 1211–1235 (1987).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Wilson, C. A. & Mitchell, J. F. B. J. geophys. Res. 92(13), 315–343 (1987).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rosenzweig, C., Parry, M. Potential impact of climate change on world food supply. Nature 367, 133–138 (1994).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing