Towards probabilistic projections of climate change impacts on global crop yields
Article first published online: 19 APR 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 35, Issue 8, April 2008
How to Cite
2008), Towards probabilistic projections of climate change impacts on global crop yields, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L08705, doi:10.1029/2008GL033423., and (
- Issue published online: 19 APR 2008
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 MAR 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 7 MAR 2008
- Manuscript Received: 4 FEB 2008
- climate change;
- crop yield change;
- probabilistic projections
 There is a widely recognized need in the scientific and policy communities for probabilistic estimates of climate change impacts, beyond simple scenario analysis. Here we propose a methodology to evaluate one major climate change impact - changes in global average yields of wheat, maize, and barley by 2030 - by a probabilistic approach that integrates uncertainties in climate change and crop yield responses to temperature, precipitation, and carbon dioxide. The resulting probability distributions, which are conditional on assuming the SRES A1B emission scenario and no agricultural adaptation, indicate expected changes of +1.6%, −14.1%, −1.8% for wheat, maize, and barley, with 95% probability intervals of (−4.1, +6.7), (−28.0, −4.3), (−11.0, 6.2) in percent of current yields, respectively. This fully probabilistic analysis aims at quantifying the range of plausible outcomes and allows us to gauge the relative importance of different sources of uncertainty.