Climate Change Impacts on Crop Production

Potential climate change impacts on world crop production and yield from 1970  to  2080

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Effects of Climate Change on Global Food Production (1970-2080) from Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) is an update to a major crop modeling study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS). The initial study was published in 1997, based on output of the HadCM2 model forced with greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration from the IS95 emission scenarios in 1997. Results of the initial study are presented in Socio-Economic Data and Applications Center's Potential Impacts of Climate Change on World Food Supply: Data Sets from a Major Crop Modeling Study, released in 2001. The coauthors developed and tested a method for investigating the spatial implications of climate change on crop production. The Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer dynamic process crop growth models are specified and validated for 127 sites in the major world agricultural regions. Results from the crop models, calibrated and validated in the major crop-growing regions, are then used to test functional forms describing the response of yield changes in the climate and environmental conditions as a percent change by country. The baseline year for crop yield changes is the average yield simulated under current climate (1970-2000 baseline). The resulting yield change data were then fed into trade models to assess impacts on prices and overall food production. Optimal yield is the potential yield nonlimited by water or fertilizer and without management constraints. Adapted yields are evaluated in each country as a fraction of the potential yield. The weighting factor combines the ratio of current yields to current yield potential and the economic limitation of the economic country’s agricultural systems. This updated version is based on HadCM3 model output along with GHG concentrations from the SRES. The crop yield estimates incorporate some major improvements: (1) consistent crop simulation methodology and climate change scenarios; (2) weighting of model site results by contribution to regional and national, and rainfed and irrigated, production; (3) quantitative foundation for estimation of physiological CO₂ effects on crop yields; (4) explicit consideration of adaptation; and (5) reporting of results by country rather than by Basic Linked System region. The data are presented at a national level. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the data set. For access to the full data set and additional information, see the Learn More link.

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Formal name

Effects of Climate Change on Global Food Production from SRES Emissions and Socioeconomic Scenarios, v1 (1970 – 2080)


Total production changes need to be treated with caution, since production is determined by many factors. These projections are all speculative and could have inaccuracies. Caution should be used when using projections for any decisions that may have any negative consequences.

Suggested citation

Iglesias, A., and C. Rosensweig. 2009. Effects of Climate Change on Global Food Production from SRES Emissions and Socioeconomic Scenarios. Palisades, NY: NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Accessed through Resource Watch, (date).


National Aeronautics and Space Administration Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (NASA SEDAC)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS)

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