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Over-optimistic projected future wheat yield potential in the North China Plain: the role of future climate extremes


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Yang, R, Dai, P, Wang, B, Jin, T, Liu, K, Fahad, S, Harrison, MT ORCID: 0000-0001-7425-452X, Man, J, Shang, J, Meinke, H ORCID: 0000-0003-2657-3264, Liu, D, Wang, X, Zhang, Y, Zhou, M ORCID: 0000-0003-3009-7854, Tian, Y and Yan, H 2022 , 'Over-optimistic projected future wheat yield potential in the North China Plain: the role of future climate extremes' , Agronomy, vol. 12, no. 1 , doi: 10.3390/agronomy12010145.

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Global warming and altered precipitation patterns pose a serious threat to crop production in the North China Plain (NCP). Quantifying the frequency of adverse climate events (e.g., frost, heat and drought) under future climates and assessing how those climatic extreme events would affect yield are important to effectively inform and make science-based adaptation options for agriculture in a changing climate. In this study, we evaluated the effects of heat and frost stress during sensitive phenological stages at four representative sites in the NCP using the APSIM-wheat model. climate data included historical and future climates, the latter being informed by projections from 22 Global Climate Models (GCMs) in the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) for the period 2031–2060 (2050s). Our results show that current projections of future wheat yield potential in the North China Plain may be overestimated; after more accurately accounting for the effects of frost and heat stress in the model, yield projections for 2031-60 decreased from 31% to 9%. Clustering of common drought-stress seasonal patterns into key groups revealed that moderate drought stress environments are likely to be alleviated in the future, although the frequency of severe drought-stress environments would remain similar (25%) to that occurring under the current climate. We highlight the importance of mechanistically accounting for temperature stress on crop physiology, enabling more robust projections of crop yields under future the burgeoning climate crisis.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Yang, R and Dai, P and Wang, B and Jin, T and Liu, K and Fahad, S and Harrison, MT and Man, J and Shang, J and Meinke, H and Liu, D and Wang, X and Zhang, Y and Zhou, M and Tian, Y and Yan, H
Keywords: global, climate change, climate crisis, crop trait, adaptation, drought, stress, heat wave, natural disaster, crop breeding, irrigation, nitrogen, extreme climatic events, water deficit, crop, wheat, rice, maize, phenology, development, grain, kernel
Journal or Publication Title: Agronomy
Publisher: MDPI AG
ISSN: 2073-4395
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/agronomy12010145
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Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

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