Climate change, shift in rainfall, temperature could impact crop production by 2030 finds NASA

According to a recent study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), published in Nature Food, greenhouse gas emissions may affect the production of maize and wheat by 2030. Maize yields are expected to fall by around 24 percent, according to the data, while wheat production might rise by around 17 percent.

The study, which was conducted by NASA through agricultural models and advanced climate models, revealed that there would be a shift in temperature and rainfall patterns. The change in patterns of rainfall and temperature will make it difficult for maize to grow in the tropical region. The major cause of the shift is greenhouse gas emissions, which are primarily caused by humans.

Rising global temperatures, heat waves affect crop growth and maturity along with rainfall patterns.

However, the growth of wheat might witness an elevation of around 17 percent in its production rate.

The research team at NASA used two models in order to carry out the study and arrive at the result. The first model was the climate model simulations from the international Climate Model Intercomparison Project-Phase 6. The responses of CMIP6 models were recorded.

The climate model was then used as an input for 12 state-of-the-art global crop models which were part of the Agricultural Model

Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP). The behaviour of each crop species was studied. Scientists also used various combinations of crop models and climate combinations in order to derive results.

The research team looked at the changes in the crops and the effect of the climate on the crop yield. It was found that soybean and rice showed a decline in some regions but the overall decline was still not discernible. However, for maize and wheat, the climate effect experiments pointed at the results much more decisively.

Along with temperature, high levels of carbon dioxide also increase the process of photosynthesis and water retention in crops. Wheat showed a positive effect on the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

However, rising global temperatures, heat waves also affect crop growth and maturity.

Crop modeller and climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), Jonas Jagermeyr stated that a 20 percent decrease in the production of maize could have severe consequences and could impact the world.

While higher temperature can affect the length of growth and accelerate crop maturity, scientists say that it rushes the growth stages of the crop and hence, by the end of the season, the plant will produce less total grain because it does not have enough energy. A faster growth decreases the crop yield and if the global temperatures keep rising, its interconnectedness with the food system will impact everyone on Earth.

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