Providing Regional Climate Services to British Columbia

You are here

New PCIC Science Brief: Projected Changes to Grasslands and Three US Crops

The response of vegetation to the changing climate and the changing concentration of carbon dioxide is important because it can impact ecosystems and agricultural production. PCIC's latest Science Brief covers two recent papers by Obermeier et al. (2017) and Schauberger et al. (2017) that examine how these changes may affect temperate grasslands and three types of crops in the United States. Obermeier et al. (2017) find that the fertilization effect of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere on C3 grasslands is reduced when conditions are wetter, dryer or hotter than the conditions to which the grasses are adapted. Schauberger et al. (2017) find that yields for wheat, soy and corn decline at temperatures greater than 30°C, with reductions in yield of 22% for wheat, 40% for soy and 49% for corn. They also find that Irrigation has a much larger preventative effect on yield loss than increased carbon dioxide, suggesting that water stress at higher temperatures may be largely responsible for losses.

Read the new Science Brief.

Obermeier, W.A. et al., 2017: Reduced CO2 fertilization effect in temperate C3 grasslands under more extreme weather conditions. Nature Climate Change, 7, 137–141, doi:10.1038/nclimate3191.

Schauberger, B. et al., 2017: Consistent negative response of US crops to high temperatures in observations and crop models. Nature Communications, 8, 13931, doi:10.1038/ncomms13931.