Understanding the impact of changes in temperature and precipitation on crop yields is a vital step in developing policy and management options to feed the world. As most existing studies are limited to a few staple crops, we implemented global statistical models to examine the influence of weather and management practices on the yields of 18 crops, accounting for 70% of crop production by area and 65% by calorific intake. Focusing on the impact of temperature, we found considerable heterogeneity in the responses of yields across crops and countries. Irrigation was found to alleviate negative implications from temperature increases. Countries where increasing temperature causes the most negative impacts are typically the most food insecure, with the lowest calorific food supply and average crop yield. International action must be coordinated to raise yields in these countries through improvement and modernization of agricultural practices to counteract future adverse impacts of climate change.
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The data used in this study are available through the repository https://doi.org/10.5522/04/12768425.
The scripts used in the estimation of the models and the production of the figures displayed in the main body of the paper are available through the repository https://doi.org/10.5522/04/12768425.
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The authors of this work have been supported as follows—P. Agnolucci, C.R., V.D.L. and P.E.: the Grantham Foundation, the UK Energy Research Centre through its Resource and Vectors theme (award EP/L024756/1) and the Addressing the Value of Nature and Energy Together (ADVENT) programme (Award NE/M019799/1); P. Alexander: the Resilience of the UK food system to Global Shocks (RUGS, BB/N020707/1); F.E. and R.H.: the UK Energy Research Centre through its Resource and Vectors theme (Award EP/L024756/1), the Addressing the Value of Nature and Energy Together (ADVENT) programme (Award NE/M019713/1) and the ERC grant SCALEFORES (grant agreement ID: 680176).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Discussion on the historic variation in yields and model performance, discussion on the effect of weather, irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers on crop yields, Supplementary Figs. 1–4 and Table 1.
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Agnolucci, P., Rapti, C., Alexander, P. et al. Impacts of rising temperatures and farm management practices on global yields of 18 crops. Nat Food 1, 562–571 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-020-00148-x
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