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Global warming could hurt crops

Nature volume 511, page 266 (17 July 2014) | Download Citation

Image: Steve Cavalier/Alamy

The warming climate could put food supplies at risk over the next decade or two.

Using various combinations of climate models, David Lobell at Stanford University, California, and Claudia Tebaldi at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, compared expected yields of maize (corn) and wheat growing under natural climate variations to projected yields influenced by human-induced climate change. The results suggest that with climate warming, the risk of losing 10% or more of the global wheat yield over the next two decades increases tenfold, to a 1 in 20 chance. For maize, the risk increases by 20 times, to a 1 in 10 chance.

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