Warming has little effect on maize yields

High temperatures are not a sizeable direct cause of lowered maize yields, but a lack of water is. That’s the conclusion of a US study that attempted to disentangle the effects of temperature and water stress in previously reported yield losses.

“Our study indicates that so long as the crop had sufficient water, the high air temperatures experienced during the study period were not reducing maize yields,” said Elizabeth Carter of Cornell University, US.

More maize is produced than any other crop worldwide, and demand is expected to rise in the developing world by 50% by the middle of the century. Over the same period, average global temperatures are expected to increase by some 2°C. […]

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