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Title: Evidence for a weakening strength of temperature-corn yield relation in the United States during 1980–2010

Abstract

Temperature is known to be correlated with crop yields, causing reduction of crop yield with climate warming without adaptations or CO2 fertilization effects. The historical temperature-crop yield relation has often been used for informing future changes. This relationship, however, may change over time following alternations in other environmental factors. Results show that the strength of the relationship between the interannual variability of growing season temperature and corn yield (RGST_CY) has declined in the United States between 1980 and 2010 with a loss in the statistical significance. The regression slope which represents the anomalies in corn yield that occur in association with 1 degree temperature anomaly has decreased significantly from -6.9%/K of the first half period to -2.4%/K~-3.5%/K of the second half period. This implies that projected corn yield reduction will be overestimated by a fact of 2 in a given warming scenario, if the corn-temperature relation is derived from the earlier historical period. Changes in RGST_CY are mainly observed in Midwest Corn Belt and central High Plains, and are well reproduced by 11 process-based crop models. In Midwest rain-fed systems, the decrease of negative temperature effects coincides with an increase in water availability by precipitation. In irrigated areas where watermore » stress is minimized, the decline of beneficial temperature effects is significantly related to the increase in extreme hot days. The results indicate that an extrapolation of historical yield response to temperature may bias the assessment of agriculture vulnerability to climate change. Efforts to reduce climate impacts on agriculture should pay attention not only to climate change, but also to changes in climate-crop yield relations. There are some caveats that should be acknowledged as the analysis is restricted to the changes in the linear relation between growing season mean temperature and corn yield for the specific study period.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1406715
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-129299
Journal ID: ISSN 0048-9697; KP1703030
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Science of the Total Environment; Journal Volume: 605-606; Journal Issue: C
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Leng, Guoyong. Evidence for a weakening strength of temperature-corn yield relation in the United States during 1980–2010. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.211.
Leng, Guoyong. Evidence for a weakening strength of temperature-corn yield relation in the United States during 1980–2010. United States. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.211.
Leng, Guoyong. Fri . "Evidence for a weakening strength of temperature-corn yield relation in the United States during 1980–2010". United States. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.211.
@article{osti_1406715,
title = {Evidence for a weakening strength of temperature-corn yield relation in the United States during 1980–2010},
author = {Leng, Guoyong},
abstractNote = {Temperature is known to be correlated with crop yields, causing reduction of crop yield with climate warming without adaptations or CO2 fertilization effects. The historical temperature-crop yield relation has often been used for informing future changes. This relationship, however, may change over time following alternations in other environmental factors. Results show that the strength of the relationship between the interannual variability of growing season temperature and corn yield (RGST_CY) has declined in the United States between 1980 and 2010 with a loss in the statistical significance. The regression slope which represents the anomalies in corn yield that occur in association with 1 degree temperature anomaly has decreased significantly from -6.9%/K of the first half period to -2.4%/K~-3.5%/K of the second half period. This implies that projected corn yield reduction will be overestimated by a fact of 2 in a given warming scenario, if the corn-temperature relation is derived from the earlier historical period. Changes in RGST_CY are mainly observed in Midwest Corn Belt and central High Plains, and are well reproduced by 11 process-based crop models. In Midwest rain-fed systems, the decrease of negative temperature effects coincides with an increase in water availability by precipitation. In irrigated areas where water stress is minimized, the decline of beneficial temperature effects is significantly related to the increase in extreme hot days. The results indicate that an extrapolation of historical yield response to temperature may bias the assessment of agriculture vulnerability to climate change. Efforts to reduce climate impacts on agriculture should pay attention not only to climate change, but also to changes in climate-crop yield relations. There are some caveats that should be acknowledged as the analysis is restricted to the changes in the linear relation between growing season mean temperature and corn yield for the specific study period.},
doi = {10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.211},
journal = {Science of the Total Environment},
number = C,
volume = 605-606,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Fri Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}