Agricultural breadbaskets shift poleward given adaptive farmer behavior under climate change

Franke, J.A., Müller, C., Minoli, S., Elliott, J., Folberth, C. ORCID:, Gardner, C., Hank, T., Izaurralde, R.C., et al. (2021). Agricultural breadbaskets shift poleward given adaptive farmer behavior under climate change. Global Change Biology 28 167-181. 10.1111/gcb.15868.

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Modern food production is spatially concentrated in global "breadbaskets". A major unresolved question is whether these peak production regions will shift poleward as the climate warms, allowing some recovery of potential climaterelated losses. While agricultural impacts studies to date have focused on currently cultivated land, the Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison Project (GGCMI) Phase 2 experiment allows us to assess changes in both yields and the location of peak productivity regions under warming. We examine crop responses under projected end-of-century warming using 7 process-based models simulating 5 major crops (maize, rice, soybeans, and spring and winter wheat) with a variety of adaptation strategies. We find that in no-adaptation cases, when planting date and cultivar choices are held fixed, regions of peak production remain stationary and yield losses can be severe, since growing seasons contract strongly with warming. When adaptations in management practices are allowed (cultivars that retain growing season length under warming and modified planting dates), peak productivity zones shift poleward and yield losses are largely recovered. While most growing-zone shifts are ultimately limited by geography, breadbaskets studied here move poleward over 600 km on average by end of the century under RCP8.5. These results suggest that agricultural impacts assessments can be strongly biased if restricted in spatial area or in the scope of adaptive behavior considered. Accurate evaluation of food security under climate change requires global modeling and careful treatment of adaptation strategies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: AgMIP; GGCMI; adaptation; climate change; crop modeling
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services (AFE)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2021 10:04
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2022 14:11

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