Publication Abstracts

Glotter and Elliott 2016

Glotter, M., and J. Elliott, 2016: Simulating US agriculture in a modern Dust Bowl drought. Nat. Plants, 3, 16193, doi:10.1038/nplants.2016.193.

Drought-induced agricultural loss is one of the most costly impacts of extreme weather, and without mitigation, climate change is likely to increase the severity and frequency of future droughts. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was the driest and hottest for agriculture in modern US history. Improvements in farming practices have increased productivity, but yields today are still tightly linked to climate variation and the impacts of a 1930s-type drought on current and future agricultural systems remain unclear. Simulations of biophysical process and empirical models suggest that Dust-Bowl-type droughts today would have unprecedented consequences, with yield losses ∼50% larger than the severe drought of 2012. Damages at these extremes are highly sensitive to temperature, worsening by ∼25% with each degree centigrade of warming. We find that high temperatures can be more damaging than rainfall deficit, and, without adaptation, warmer mid-century temperatures with even average precipitation could lead to maize losses equivalent to the Dust Bowl drought. Warmer temperatures alongside consecutive droughts could make up to 85% of rain-fed maize at risk of changes that may persist for decades. Understanding the interactions of weather extremes and a changing agricultural system is therefore critical to effectively respond to, and minimize, the impacts of the next extreme drought event.

Export citation: [ BibTeX ] [ RIS ]

BibTeX Citation

  author={Glotter, M. and Elliott, J.},
  title={Simulating US agriculture in a modern Dust Bowl drought},
  journal={Nat. Plants},

[ Close ]

RIS Citation

ID  - gl06000g
AU  - Glotter, M.
AU  - Elliott, J.
PY  - 2016
TI  - Simulating US agriculture in a modern Dust Bowl drought
JA  - Nat. Plants
VL  - 3
SP  - 16193
DO  - 10.1038/nplants.2016.193
ER  -

[ Close ]

• Return to 2016 Publications

• Return to Publications Homepage