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Climate Shift Has Cut Global Wheat Crops, Study Finds

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Posted on May 8, 2011
Flickr / KevinLallier Some rights reserved

A report in the journal Science links temperature changes to a 5.5 percent decline in wheat production worldwide, with drop-offs occurring even in countries where technological efforts have diminished the impact of climate change on crop yields. —ARK


Shifts in the climate over the past three decades have been linked to a 5.5% decline in global wheat production, a study has suggested.

A team of US scientists assessed the impact of changes to rainfall and temperature on four major food crops: wheat, rice, corn and soybeans.

Climate trends in some countries were big enough to wipe out gains from other factors, such as technology, they said.

... [One researcher said:] “On a global average, we see that wheat production would be about 5% higher if we had not seen the warming since 1980. We see about the same for maize or corn.

“Yet for rice and soybean, we actually find that production is about the same as if climate had not been trending.”

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By ajintx, May 24, 2011 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

GMO crops have, on average, 15% lesser yield per acre than the standard non-GMO crop of the same species.  We are not comparing apples to apples any more when we do not differentiate what crop types we are talking about.  Exclude this variable first, then we can talk about global warming.

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By Morpheus, May 9, 2011 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

It’s getting harder to ignore climate change now. And still nothing is going to happen. We have become worse than sheep.

Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )

Wake up America. It’s time…

Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolu­tion2.osix­ )

We don’t have to live like this anymore. “Spread the News”

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By Good Analysis of This Story, May 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is a breakdown of this story that I found interesting.
It’s actually pretty eye-opening. When I first read the story I thought crop production had gone down. This author got me to reread the article with a different lens. In fact, these scientists really haven’t proved or said anything of value, yet we see the article as bleak.

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By louiss123, May 8, 2011 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment
educate yourselves one your own perception

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THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., May 8, 2011 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Not at all surprised by this article; even here in the
tropics (13deg. N Lat.) the effect (climate change) on
crops is noticeable. Rice crops in Vietnam are having
major disease problems and here certain varieties of
Capsicum are stressed by higher than normal
We live in interesting times…

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, May 8, 2011 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

First- “Global Warming”

Next- “Climate Change”

Now- “Climate Shift”

Come on. Settle on a term already.

prisnersdilema is spot on- climate changes. If the the Alaskan North Slope was always frozen tundra, where the hell did all that oil under its surface come from?

Greenland’s shepherds are happily reporting that they have a week or two longer to graze their sheep. And soon “winter wheat” will give way to “wheat”.

Then there’s that heretical finding that rice and soybeans haven’t noticed the heat all that much- oops.

Rather than bitch about “climate shift” let’s use our ingenuity to deal with it. “Millions” won’t have to die.

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By TDoff, May 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

Yep, looks like the human race, and perhaps all of life, except maybe cockroaches, is doomed.

We are told and taught that nothing happens on Earth unless ‘god’ wants it to happen. So the question is, is ‘god’ planning to destroy us with nuclear explosions, irradiation, starvation, drowning, uncontrollable fires, lack of water, or just continuing our evolution toward excessive ‘dumb’?

Things look bleak, but there may be a way out. We should attempt to propitiate ‘god’, all the ‘gods’. So we must gather all the religious leaders on earth, and all their ardent followers, in a large tent, and have them offer all the gifts to the ‘gods’ that each ‘god’ most prefers. In a giant collection plate in the center of the tent, the assembled worshipers will place their favorite offerings, piles of cash, virgins (both alive and freshly-slain), foreskins, clitori, prayer flags, hypocritical prayer books, sheep’s blood, still-beating goat’s hearts, flagons of wine and spirits (but not the good, aged stuff), and lots of lying promises to follow exactly the ‘good book’ of each ‘god’.

And then, after all the popes and priests and ministers and rabbis and imans and their acolytes and assorted shamans and other religious hucksters have gathered and made their holy offerings, WE TIE THE TENT FLAPS DOWN AND SET FIRE TO IT, AND ALL GATHERED WITHIN!

Their demise will return the Earth to a peaceful, bountiful place, and remove the doom hanging over our heads.

And on the odd chance that a ‘god’ truly exists, ‘he/she/it’ will approve of our fiery deed, for using the good sense ‘he/she/it’ gave us, and our paths to ‘heaven’ will be assured.

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By Miko, May 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That’s unexpected, as IPCC predictions list increased
crop yields as one of the few benefits of (moderate, up
to 3 degrees C) global warming.

I wonder about the credibility of this new report, as
it’s obviously incredibly difficult to establish
causation in cases like this (i.e., how do we know that
crop production decreased for that reason and not for
some other?).  However, since Science is a prestigious
peer-reviewed journal, my inclination is to give the
study the benefit of the doubt if it got printed there.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, May 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Stories like this will become more common in the future. This along with the Tornado’s, and the flooding along the mississpppi.

Last years severe winter storms, will eventually become understood as a continuation of our weather now.

Next will come, in short order, the inundation of the coasts, melting of the poles, the outgassing of methane hydrates on the ocean floor, and wild swings of tempurature, resulting in millions of deaths.

This will accelerate in the next 10 to 20 years, until at some point, we will enter a new ice age, experiencing violent weather like nothing anyone alive has ever seen.

As human based economic activity, decreases down to nothing, global warming gasses will decrease in the atmosphere. It is unlikely that there will be anyone around to measure them.

If, action had been taken decades ago, then human civilization might have been saved. It’s too late for that now. So all the pissing contests, and denying, and rationalizations, and ego centric bull, of our narcisstic culture, will not matter in the end.

And no amount of money, which will soon become useless anyay, can change things.

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