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Title: The Role of Climate Covariability on Crop Yields in the Conterminous United States

Abstract

The covariability of temperature (T), precipitation (P) and radiation (R) is an important aspect in understanding the climate influence on crop yields. Here in this paper, we analyze county-level corn and soybean yields and observed climate for the period 1983–2012 to understand how growing-season (June, July and August) mean T, P and R influence crop yields jointly and in isolation across the CONterminous United States (CONUS). Results show that nationally averaged corn and soybean yields exhibit large interannual variability of 21% and 22%, of which 35% and 32% can be significantly explained by T and P, respectively. By including R, an additional of 5% in variability can be explained for both crops. Using partial regression analyses, we find that studies that ignore the covariability among T, P, and R can substantially overestimate the sensitivity of crop yields to a single climate factor at the county scale. Further analyses indicate large spatial variation in the relative contributions of different climate variables to the variability of historical corn and soybean yields. Finally, the structure of the dominant climate factors did not change substantially over 1983–2012, confirming the robustness of the findings, which have important implications for crop yield prediction and crop modelmore » validations.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [2]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Joint Global Change Research Inst.
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program; National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA)
OSTI Identifier:
1357048
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-116570
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322; PII: BFsrep33160
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Leng, Guoyong, Zhang, Xuesong, Huang, Maoyi, Asrar, Ghassem R., and Leung, L. Ruby. The Role of Climate Covariability on Crop Yields in the Conterminous United States. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1038/srep33160.
Leng, Guoyong, Zhang, Xuesong, Huang, Maoyi, Asrar, Ghassem R., & Leung, L. Ruby. The Role of Climate Covariability on Crop Yields in the Conterminous United States. United States. doi:10.1038/srep33160.
Leng, Guoyong, Zhang, Xuesong, Huang, Maoyi, Asrar, Ghassem R., and Leung, L. Ruby. Mon . "The Role of Climate Covariability on Crop Yields in the Conterminous United States". United States. doi:10.1038/srep33160. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1357048.
@article{osti_1357048,
title = {The Role of Climate Covariability on Crop Yields in the Conterminous United States},
author = {Leng, Guoyong and Zhang, Xuesong and Huang, Maoyi and Asrar, Ghassem R. and Leung, L. Ruby},
abstractNote = {The covariability of temperature (T), precipitation (P) and radiation (R) is an important aspect in understanding the climate influence on crop yields. Here in this paper, we analyze county-level corn and soybean yields and observed climate for the period 1983–2012 to understand how growing-season (June, July and August) mean T, P and R influence crop yields jointly and in isolation across the CONterminous United States (CONUS). Results show that nationally averaged corn and soybean yields exhibit large interannual variability of 21% and 22%, of which 35% and 32% can be significantly explained by T and P, respectively. By including R, an additional of 5% in variability can be explained for both crops. Using partial regression analyses, we find that studies that ignore the covariability among T, P, and R can substantially overestimate the sensitivity of crop yields to a single climate factor at the county scale. Further analyses indicate large spatial variation in the relative contributions of different climate variables to the variability of historical corn and soybean yields. Finally, the structure of the dominant climate factors did not change substantially over 1983–2012, confirming the robustness of the findings, which have important implications for crop yield prediction and crop model validations.},
doi = {10.1038/srep33160},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
issn = {2045-2322},
number = 1,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {9}
}

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Cited by: 10 works
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Works referenced in this record:

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journal, December 2014

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journal, May 2011

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Climate and Management Contributions to Recent Trends in U.S. Agricultural Yields
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Climate variation explains a third of global crop yield variability
journal, January 2015

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  • Nature Communications, Vol. 6, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6989

Nonlinear temperature effects indicate severe damages to U.S. crop yields under climate change
journal, August 2009

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  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106, Issue 37
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906865106

Spatial resolution of precipitation and radiation: The effect on regional crop yield forecasts
journal, December 2005


Temperature and Solar Radiation Effects on Potential Maize Yield across Locations
journal, January 1990


Effect of Estimated Daily Global Solar Radiation Data on the Results of Crop Growth Models
journal, October 2007

  • Trnka, Miroslav; Eitzinger, Josef; Kapler, Pavel
  • Sensors, Vol. 7, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.3390/s7102330

Impact of changes in diffuse radiation on the global land carbon sink
journal, April 2009

  • Mercado, Lina M.; Bellouin, Nicolas; Sitch, Stephen
  • Nature, Vol. 458, Issue 7241
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature07949

Earth's Global Energy Budget
journal, March 2009

  • Trenberth, Kevin E.; Fasullo, John T.; Kiehl, Jeffrey
  • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 90, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1175/2008BAMS2634.1

Secular total solar irradiance trend during solar cycles 21-23: SOLAR CYCLES 21-23 IRRADIANCE TRENDS
journal, March 2003

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  • DOI: 10.1029/2002GL016038

Intensification of hot extremes in the United States: INTENSIFICATION OF HOT EXTREMES
journal, August 2010

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  • DOI: 10.1029/2010GL043888

Relationships between precipitation and surface temperature: PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE RELATIONS
journal, July 2005

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  • DOI: 10.1029/2005GL022760

Impacts of Day Versus Night Temperatures on Spring Wheat Yields
journal, January 2007


Contributions of individual variation in temperature, solar radiation and precipitation to crop yield in the North China Plain, 1961–2003
journal, June 2012


On the use of statistical models to predict crop yield responses to climate change
journal, October 2010


Food Security: The Challenge of Feeding 9 Billion People
journal, January 2010


The poverty implications of climate-induced crop yield changes by 2030
journal, October 2010


Prediction of seasonal climate-induced variations in global food production
journal, July 2013

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  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1945

Modeling the Effects of Groundwater-Fed Irrigation on Terrestrial Hydrology over the Conterminous United States
journal, June 2014

  • Leng, Guoyong; Huang, Maoyi; Tang, Qiuhong
  • Journal of Hydrometeorology, Vol. 15, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-13-049.1

Increased Baseflow in iowa over the Second half of the 20th Century
journal, August 2003


Global warming and changes in risk of concurrent climate extremes: Insights from the 2014 California drought: Global Warming and Concurrent Extremes
journal, December 2014

  • AghaKouchak, Amir; Cheng, Linyin; Mazdiyasni, Omid
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 41, Issue 24
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062308

Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Summary
journal, March 2005


Uncertainty in simulating wheat yields under climate change
journal, June 2013

  • Asseng, S.; Ewert, F.; Rosenzweig, C.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1916

How much has the increase in atmospheric CO2 directly affected past soybean production?
journal, May 2014

  • Sakurai, Gen; Iizumi, Toshichika; Nishimori, Motoki
  • Scientific Reports, Vol. 4, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/srep04978

Changes in diurnal temperature range and national cereal yields
journal, August 2007


What aspects of future rainfall changes matter for crop yields in West Africa?
journal, October 2015

  • Guan, Kaiyu; Sultan, Benjamin; Biasutti, Michela
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, Issue 19
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063877

Greater Sensitivity to Drought Accompanies Maize Yield Increase in the U.S. Midwest
journal, May 2014


Increased crop damage in the US from excess precipitation under climate change
journal, October 2002

  • Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Tubiello, Francesco N.; Goldberg, Richard
  • Global Environmental Change, Vol. 12, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0959-3780(02)00008-0

Influence of extreme weather disasters on global crop production
journal, January 2016

  • Lesk, Corey; Rowhani, Pedram; Ramankutty, Navin
  • Nature, Vol. 529, Issue 7584
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature16467

Modelling predicts that heat stress, not drought, will increase vulnerability of wheat in Europe
journal, August 2011

  • Semenov, Mikhail A.; Shewry, Peter R.
  • Scientific Reports, Vol. 1, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/srep00066

Impact of growing season temperature on wheat productivity in China
journal, June 2009


Thirty-year tillage effects on crop yield and soil fertility indicators
journal, June 2013


Response of double cropping suitability to climate change in the United States
journal, January 2015


Soil mulching significantly enhances yields and water and nitrogen use efficiencies of maize and wheat: a meta-analysis
journal, November 2015

  • Qin, Wei; Hu, Chunsheng; Oenema, Oene
  • Scientific Reports, Vol. 5, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/srep16210

The Contribution of Commercial Fertilizer Nutrients to Food Production
journal, January 2005


The 2003 European summer heatwaves and drought -synoptic diagnosis and impacts: European heatwave - impacts
journal, August 2004

  • Fink, Andreas H.; Brücher, Tim; Krüger, Andreas
  • Weather, Vol. 59, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1256/wea.73.04

Climate extremes and climate change: The Russian heat wave and other climate extremes of 2010: CLIMATE EXTREMES-THE RUSSIAN HEAT WAVE
journal, September 2012

  • Trenberth, Kevin E.; Fasullo, John T.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 117, Issue D17
  • DOI: 10.1029/2012JD018020

Temperature impacts on the water year 2014 drought in California
journal, June 2015

  • Shukla, Shraddhanand; Safeeq, Mohammad; AghaKouchak, Amir
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063666

Changes in concurrent monthly precipitation and temperature extremes
journal, August 2013


A compound event framework for understanding extreme impacts: A compound event framework
journal, September 2013

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  • Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, Vol. 5, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/wcc.252

Substantial increase in concurrent droughts and heatwaves in the United States
journal, August 2015

  • Mazdiyasni, Omid; AghaKouchak, Amir
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, Issue 37
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1422945112

Nonlinear heat effects on African maize as evidenced by historical yield trials
journal, March 2011

  • Lobell, David B.; Bänziger, Marianne; Magorokosho, Cosmos
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 1, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1043

Partial least-squares regression: a tutorial
journal, January 1986


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    The Contribution of Commercial Fertilizer Nutrients to Food Production
    journal, January 2005


    Prediction of seasonal climate-induced variations in global food production
    journal, July 2013

    • Iizumi, Toshichika; Sakuma, Hirofumi; Yokozawa, Masayuki
    • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, Issue 10
    • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1945

    A compound event framework for understanding extreme impacts: A compound event framework
    journal, September 2013

    • Leonard, Michael; Westra, Seth; Phatak, Aloke
    • Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, Vol. 5, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1002/wcc.252

    Global warming and changes in risk of concurrent climate extremes: Insights from the 2014 California drought: Global Warming and Concurrent Extremes
    journal, December 2014

    • AghaKouchak, Amir; Cheng, Linyin; Mazdiyasni, Omid
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 41, Issue 24
    • DOI: 10.1002/2014gl062308

    Greater Sensitivity to Drought Accompanies Maize Yield Increase in the U.S. Midwest
    journal, May 2014


    Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Summary
    journal, March 2005


    Thirty-year tillage effects on crop yield and soil fertility indicators
    journal, June 2013


    Impacts of Day Versus Night Temperatures on Spring Wheat Yields
    journal, January 2007


    Response of double cropping suitability to climate change in the United States
    journal, January 2015


    Rising temperatures reduce global wheat production
    journal, December 2014

    • Asseng, S.; Ewert, F.; Martre, P.
    • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 5, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2470

    Climate and Management Contributions to Recent Trends in U.S. Agricultural Yields
    journal, February 2003


    Changes in diurnal temperature range and national cereal yields
    journal, August 2007


    Global food security under climate change
    journal, December 2007

    • Schmidhuber, J.; Tubiello, F. N.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 104, Issue 50
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0701976104

    Nonlinear temperature effects indicate severe damages to U.S. crop yields under climate change
    journal, August 2009

    • Schlenker, Wolfram; Roberts, Michael J.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106, Issue 37
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906865106

    Temperature impacts on the water year 2014 drought in California
    journal, June 2015

    • Shukla, Shraddhanand; Safeeq, Mohammad; AghaKouchak, Amir
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.1002/2015gl063666

    Uncertainty in simulating wheat yields under climate change
    journal, June 2013

    • Asseng, S.; Ewert, F.; Rosenzweig, C.
    • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, Issue 9
    • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1916

    Food Security: The Challenge of Feeding 9 Billion People
    journal, January 2010


    Modelling predicts that heat stress, not drought, will increase vulnerability of wheat in Europe
    journal, August 2011

    • Semenov, Mikhail A.; Shewry, Peter R.
    • Scientific Reports, Vol. 1, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/srep00066

    The poverty implications of climate-induced crop yield changes by 2030
    journal, October 2010


    Assessing agricultural risks of climate change in the 21st century in a global gridded crop model intercomparison
    journal, December 2013

    • Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Elliott, Joshua; Deryng, Delphine
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111, Issue 9
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1222463110

    Changes in concurrent monthly precipitation and temperature extremes
    journal, August 2013


    How much has the increase in atmospheric CO2 directly affected past soybean production?
    journal, May 2014

    • Sakurai, Gen; Iizumi, Toshichika; Nishimori, Motoki
    • Scientific Reports, Vol. 4, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/srep04978

    Impact of growing season temperature on wheat productivity in China
    journal, June 2009


    Climate Change Impacts on Global Food Security
    journal, August 2013


    Substantial increase in concurrent droughts and heatwaves in the United States
    journal, August 2015

    • Mazdiyasni, Omid; AghaKouchak, Amir
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, Issue 37
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1422945112

    Climate variation explains a third of global crop yield variability
    journal, January 2015

    • Ray, Deepak K.; Gerber, James S.; MacDonald, Graham K.
    • Nature Communications, Vol. 6, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6989

    What aspects of future rainfall changes matter for crop yields in West Africa?
    journal, October 2015

    • Guan, Kaiyu; Sultan, Benjamin; Biasutti, Michela
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, Issue 19
    • DOI: 10.1002/2015gl063877

    Contributions of individual variation in temperature, solar radiation and precipitation to crop yield in the North China Plain, 1961–2003
    journal, June 2012


    Earth's Global Energy Budget
    journal, March 2009

    • Trenberth, Kevin E.; Fasullo, John T.; Kiehl, Jeffrey
    • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 90, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1175/2008bams2634.1

    Partial least-squares regression: a tutorial
    journal, January 1986


    Effect of Estimated Daily Global Solar Radiation Data on the Results of Crop Growth Models
    journal, October 2007

    • Trnka, Miroslav; Eitzinger, Josef; Kapler, Pavel
    • Sensors, Vol. 7, Issue 10
    • DOI: 10.3390/s7102330

    Influence of extreme weather disasters on global crop production
    journal, January 2016

    • Lesk, Corey; Rowhani, Pedram; Ramankutty, Navin
    • Nature, Vol. 529, Issue 7584
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature16467

    Intensification of hot extremes in the United States: INTENSIFICATION OF HOT EXTREMES
    journal, August 2010

    • Diffenbaugh, Noah S.; Ashfaq, Moetasim
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 37, Issue 15
    • DOI: 10.1029/2010gl043888

    Simulating the effects of climate and agricultural management practices on global crop yield: SIMULATING GLOBAL CROP YIELD
    journal, May 2011

    • Deryng, D.; Sacks, W. J.; Barford, C. C.
    • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 25, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1029/2009gb003765

    Increased Baseflow in iowa over the Second half of the 20th Century
    journal, August 2003


    Nonlinear heat effects on African maize as evidenced by historical yield trials
    journal, March 2011

    • Lobell, David B.; Bänziger, Marianne; Magorokosho, Cosmos
    • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 1, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1043

    Spatial resolution of precipitation and radiation: The effect on regional crop yield forecasts
    journal, December 2005


    Impact of changes in diffuse radiation on the global land carbon sink
    journal, April 2009

    • Mercado, Lina M.; Bellouin, Nicolas; Sitch, Stephen
    • Nature, Vol. 458, Issue 7241
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature07949

    Temperature and Solar Radiation Effects on Potential Maize Yield across Locations
    journal, January 1990


    Global scale climate–crop yield relationships and the impacts of recent warming
    journal, March 2007


    Modeling the Effects of Groundwater-Fed Irrigation on Terrestrial Hydrology over the Conterminous United States
    journal, June 2014

    • Leng, Guoyong; Huang, Maoyi; Tang, Qiuhong
    • Journal of Hydrometeorology, Vol. 15, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1175/jhm-d-13-049.1

    Relationships between precipitation and surface temperature: PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE RELATIONS
    journal, July 2005

    • Trenberth, Kevin E.; Shea, Dennis J.
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 32, Issue 14
    • DOI: 10.1029/2005gl022760

    Potential impact of climate change on world food supply
    journal, January 1994

    • Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Parry, Martin L.
    • Nature, Vol. 367, Issue 6459
    • DOI: 10.1038/367133a0

    Increased crop damage in the US from excess precipitation under climate change
    journal, October 2002

    • Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Tubiello, Francesco N.; Goldberg, Richard
    • Global Environmental Change, Vol. 12, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1016/s0959-3780(02)00008-0

    Climate extremes and climate change: The Russian heat wave and other climate extremes of 2010: CLIMATE EXTREMES-THE RUSSIAN HEAT WAVE
    journal, September 2012

    • Trenberth, Kevin E.; Fasullo, John T.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 117, Issue D17
    • DOI: 10.1029/2012jd018020

    Secular total solar irradiance trend during solar cycles 21-23: SOLAR CYCLES 21-23 IRRADIANCE TRENDS
    journal, March 2003

    • Willson, Richard C.; Mordvinov, Alexander V.
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 30, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1029/2002gl016038

    The 2003 European summer heatwaves and drought -synoptic diagnosis and impacts: European heatwave - impacts
    journal, August 2004

    • Fink, Andreas H.; Brücher, Tim; Krüger, Andreas
    • Weather, Vol. 59, Issue 8
    • DOI: 10.1256/wea.73.04

    Climate Trends and Global Crop Production Since 1980
    journal, May 2011


    Soil mulching significantly enhances yields and water and nitrogen use efficiencies of maize and wheat: a meta-analysis
    journal, November 2015

    • Qin, Wei; Hu, Chunsheng; Oenema, Oene
    • Scientific Reports, Vol. 5, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/srep16210

    On the use of statistical models to predict crop yield responses to climate change
    journal, October 2010