Will Global Warming Affect Crop Yields?

How I See It

A recent study raised the question of whether global warming trends will affect crops during their reproductive time and hence the yields of four major food sources for the world. They are maize (corn), rice, wheat, and soy. The study by Stanford’s Sharon Gourdji states that “Crop breeders need to think carefully about how to incorporate heat tolerance, particularly during the flowering period, into wheat, maize and rice.” She succinctly presents the issue and the potential impacts in this short video.

The warming climate affects crop production in several ways. Photosynthesis is speeded up due to higher temperatures and CO2 levels. Rainfall patterns are changed leading to changes in farming due to reduced or enhanced precipitation. Gourdji’s teammate David Lobell and others showed that crop production growth worldwide has been negatively impacted by these climate changes in the last 30 years.

This study did not discuss how these climate…

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