A December 22, 2014 article in Reuters predicts that wheat yields will fall 6% for every degree Celsius in temperature increase brought about by worldwide climate change. Average world temperatures have risen 0.9 degrees Celsius since the Industrial revolution and are predicted to rise 4.8 degrees Celsius this century given current climate change model trajectories.
A 6% decrease in yield would represent 42 million metric tonnes of wheat out of 701 million metric tonnes produced worldwide in 2012. This impact is expected to focus on hotter wheat producing climates such as Africa, Australia, Brazil, and India. Cooler climates, such as the United States and Canada, would be less impacted and likely see yield increases but not enough to offset declines in other parts of the world.
This study, led by U.S.-based scientists, highlights the need for wheat breeders to focus on breeding more heat tolerant varieties.
Read the full article here: