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Posted Mon Sep 7 2009: from PNAS, via NCSU:
U.S. Crop Yields Could Wilt in Heat
Yields of three of the most important crops produced in the United States -- corn, soybeans and cotton -- are predicted to fall off a cliff if temperatures rise due to climate change.... [They] predict that U.S. crop yields could decrease by 30 to 46 percent over the next century under slow global warming scenarios, and by a devastating 63 to 82 percent under the most rapid global warming scenarios.... The study shows that crop yields tick up gradually between roughly 10 and 30 degrees Celsius, or about 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. But when temperature levels go over 29 degrees Celsius (84.2 degrees Fahrenheit) for corn, 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) for soybeans and 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit) for cotton, yields fall steeply.
[Read more stories about: weather extremes, food crisis, climate impacts]
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