Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Energy News  


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















FARM NEWS
Droughts hit cereal crops harder since 1980s
by Staff Writers
Montreal, Canada (SPX) Jan 08, 2016


File image.

Drought and extreme heat events slashed cereal harvests in recent decades by 9% to 10% on average in affected countries - and the impact of these weather disasters was greatest in the developed nations of North America, Europe and Australasia, according to a new study led by researchers from McGill University and the University of British Columbia.

At a time when global warming is projected to lead to more extreme weather, the study, published in Nature, provides the most comprehensive look yet at the influence of such events on crop area, yields and production around the world. The researchers analyzed national production data for 16 cereals in the 177 countries included in an international database of extreme weather disasters.

The impact from droughts grew larger in the period from 1985 to 2007, according to the study, which examined the effects of about 2,800 weather disasters from 1964 to 2007.

"We have always known that extreme weather causes crop production losses," says senior author Navin Ramankutty, professor of global food security and sustainability at UBC's Liu Institute for Global Issues and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability.

"But until now we did not know exactly how much global production was lost to such extreme weather events, and how they varied by different regions of the world."

Differences in agricultural scale and methods
Production levels in the more technically advanced agricultural systems of North America, Europe and Australasia dropped by an average of 19.9% because of droughts - roughly double the global average. This may reflect differences in scale and methods of farming in wealthier countries, compared with the developing world, the researchers say.

"Across the breadbaskets of North America, for example, the crops and methods of farming are very uniform across huge areas, so if a drought hits in a way that is damaging to those crops, they will all suffer," says first author Corey Lesk, a recent graduate of McGill's Department of Geography.

"By contrast, in much of the developing world, the cropping systems are a patchwork of small fields with diverse crops. If a drought hits, some of those crops may be damaged, but others may survive.

Maximizing yields vs. minimizing risk
Farmers in wealthier countries also rarely depend on harvests directly for food, and typically have dependable access to crop insurance in the event of bad weather, Lesk notes. "So the optimal strategy for them may be to maximize yields rather than minimize the risk of weather-related crop damage."

One bright note does emerge from the analysis: the extreme weather events had no significant lasting impact on agricultural production in the years following the disasters.

"Our findings may help guide agricultural priorities and adaptation efforts, to better protect farming systems and the populations that depend on them," Ramankutty says.

Pedram Rowhani of the University of Sussex in the UK co-authored the study.

The research was supported by a Discovery Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

"Influence of extreme weather disasters on global crop production," Corey Lesk, Pedram Rowhani, and Navin Ramankutty. Nature, Jan. 7, 2016.

.


Related Links
McGill University
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
FARM NEWS
Let's go wild: How ancient communities resisted new farming practices
Cambridge, UK (SPX) Jan 06, 2016
A box of seemingly unremarkable stones sits in the corner of Dr Giulio Lucarini's office at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research where it competes for space with piles of academic journals, microscopes and cartons of equipment used for excavations. These palm-sized pebbles were used as grinding tools by people living in North Africa around 7,000 years ago. Tiny specks of plan ... read more


FARM NEWS
NASA image: Haze hovers over Indo-Gangetic Plain

ASA Awards Letter Contract for Landsat 9 Imager-2

NASA analyzes Paraguay's heavy rainfall

NASA's MMS delivers promising initial results

FARM NEWS
Europe's first decade of navigation satellites

Indra will deploy navigation aid systems in 20 Chinese airports

China builds ground service center for satnav system

Galileo's dozen: 12 satellites now in orbit

FARM NEWS
The Amazon's future

NUS study shows the causes of mangrove deforestation in Southeast Asia

Tens of millions of trees in danger from California drought

Modeling Amazonian transitional forest micrometeorology

FARM NEWS
IU scientists create 'nano-reactor' for the production of hydrogen biofuel

EU probes UK aid to convert huge coal power plant to biomass

A metabolic pathway in cyanobacteria could yield better biofuels

Wearable energy generator uses urine to power wireless transmitter

FARM NEWS
Researchers teach bacterium how to photosynthesize

How to train your bacterium

Milbank advises on purchase of stake in solar portfolio from Dominion

Cellular sensor helps plants find light

FARM NEWS
Scotland sees local benefits from renewables

Dutch vote 'setback' to green energy plan: Greenpeace

South Australian Government renews energy for change

Approval of South Australian Wind Farm

FARM NEWS
Eight survivors found after Chinese mine cave-in

Chinese mine collapse leads to owner's suicide: state media

Hard economic lessons as China's coal boom ends

Poland's coal addiction exacts heavy health, economic toll

FARM NEWS
Almost 60 confirmed dead in China landslide

Taiwan's Tsai urges answers on Hong Kong booksellers

Missing Hong Kong bookseller is British citizen: UK

Giant statue for China's Chairman Mao




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.