Researchers from the United States conducted computer simulations and found that climate change had a major impact on agriculture. Yields have decreased by 21% on average.
The University of Maryland, in collaboration with researchers from Stanford University, conducted the first assessment of the anthropogenic impact of climate change on agricultural productivity. They developed a weather impact model along with climate change. Their results showed that since 1961, global agricultural productivity has declined by 21%.
Moreover, most of this decline occurred in the last 7 years. This work shows that global agriculture is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the ongoing impacts of climate change, with warmer regions like Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean being hardest hit.
“Our research has shown that climatic and weather factors have already had a major impact on agricultural productivity,” said Robert Chambers, research participant. “We used the model to estimate what the overall factor productivity models would look like without climate change.”
The study also found that while global agricultural productivity growth has slowed by about 21% since 1961, in regions such as Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, growth has already slowed by 26-34%. However, the United States suffered the least from this – the growth rate slowed down by about 5-15%.
“Some people think of climate change as a distant issue that should be addressed first and foremost for future generations. But it overlooks the fact that humans have already dramatically changed the climate. Overall, our research shows that anthropogenic climate change is already having a disproportionate impact on poorer countries that depend primarily on agriculture, ”the scientists said.