Publication Abstracts

Yang and Wang 2023

Yang, M., and G. Wang, 2023: Heat stress to jeopardize crop production in the US Corn Belt based on downscaled CMIP5 projections. Agric. Syst., 211, 103746, doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2023.103746.

Global food security faces increasing challenges from the changing climate. Changes of agricultural output from some of the most productive regions such as the US Corn Belt can largely affect the world's food market. Developing predictive understanding of the agricultural risk of climate change and potential mitigation strategies is critical for the global food security.

The objective of this study is to assess the responses of maize and soybean yield to projected climate changes in the Corn Belt, identify the shifting environment stressors on crop yield, and tackle potential climate adaptation strategies.

We drive a process-based model, the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer, with high-resolution statistically downscaled and bias-corrected historical and future climates from ten CMIP5 models in the MACA-2 database.

The multi-model ensemble mean suggests a 12% decrease of maize yield by mid-century and 40% by late century, with a high degree of model consensus in the direction of changes; for individual models, the projected decrease of maize yield by late century ranges from <5% to over 80%, with the worst crop outcome corresponding to the most sensitive climate models. Soybean yield is projected to increase by midcentury with a high degree of model consensus, but such consensus is lost by late century as some projections shift to significant decreases. Crop yield in the Corn Belt is currently limited by water stress, but is projected to be increasingly limited by heat stress as well after the midcentury. The mounting heat stress will drive the most productive zone for maize to shift from central to northern part of the Corn Belt, but the projected increase in the northern states cannot fully compensate for the decrease in the south, causing the total production to decrease if agricultural practice stays the same. Earlier planting can alleviate only a small fraction of the heat-induced crop loss in a warmer climate. Climate change will (at least partially) offset the yield boost caused by agricultural technology and intensification.

This study advances our predictive understanding of crop yield responses to climate change, and suggests that a multitude of strategies will be needed to address the climate change challenges for the U.S. agriculture.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Yang, M. and Wang, G.},
  title={Heat stress to jeopardize crop production in the US Corn Belt based on downscaled CMIP5 projections},
  journal={Agricultural Systems},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ya08200c
AU  - Yang, M.
AU  - Wang, G.
PY  - 2023
TI  - Heat stress to jeopardize crop production in the US Corn Belt based on downscaled CMIP5 projections
JA  - Agric. Syst.
JO  - Agricultural Systems
VL  - 211
SP  - 103746
DO  - 10.1016/j.agsy.2023.103746
ER  -

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