Rising Temperatures Affect Indian Crop Yields

feb-temp.jpgThis story in the Indian Express talks about unusually warm February weather affecting wheat yields in Punjab and Haryana (India’s breadbasket, BTW). This will become more and more common as average temperatures rise from Global Warming. From Lester Brown’s most informative book Plan B 2.0:

Two scientists in India, K.S. Kavi Kumar and Jyoti Parikh, assessed the effect of higher temperatures on wheat and rice yields. Basing their model on data from 10 sites, they concluded that in north India a 1-degree Celsius rise in mean temperature did not meaningfully reduce wheat yields, but a 2-degree rise lowered yields at almost all the sites. When they looked at temperature change alone, a 2-degree Celsius rise led to a decline in irrigated wheat yields ranging from 37 percent to 58 percent. When they combined the negative effects of higher temperature with the positive effects of CO2 fertilization, the decline in yields among the various sites ranged from 8 percent to 38 percent. For a country projected to add 500 million people by mid-century, this is a troubling prospect

We might as well accept that this is going to happen and plan
accordingly. I guess changing the variety would help, so would shifting the growing season a little (I am no crop scientist, so I need to read about this).

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