30 Jan 2012:
Wheat Yields in India
May Drop as Region Warms, Study Says
An analysis of satellite images has revealed that extreme temperatures are cutting wheat yields in northern India
, indicating that the adverse impacts of rising temperatures on wheat production in warmer climes may be more severe than previously believed. Using nine years of imagery of India’s fertile Ganges plain, Stanford University researcher David Lobell found that wheat turned from green to brown earlier when average temperatures were higher, an indication that the warmer conditions are causing the crops to age prematurely. The effects were particularly strong when temperatures exceeded 34 degrees C (93 degrees F), Lobell found. He calculated that an average temperature increase of 2 degrees C could trigger a 50 percent greater yield loss than existing models suggest. Earlier studies calculated that wheat-growing areas could see yield drops of 5 percent for every 1 degree C that the average temperature rises above 14 degrees C. Wheat is the world’s second-biggest crop and provides about one-fifth of the world’s protein.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
Watch the video.
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.