European farmers face uncertainty in adapting to climate change, Moore finds
New research from Stanford scientists shows that farmers in Europe will see crop yields affected as global temperatures rise, but that adaptation can help slow the decline for some crops.
A new study by Stanford Ph.D. student Frances Moore and professor David Lobell finds that with the average 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit of warming expected by 2040, yields of wheat and barley across Europe are expected to be more than 20% lower than they would be without warming. For corn, the loss is roughly 10% less than without warming. Farmers of these crops have already seen yield growth slow down since 1980 as temperatures have risen, although other policy and economic factors have also played a role.
”The results clearly showed that modest amounts of climate change can have a big impact on yields of several crops in Europe,” said Moore, a Ph.D. student in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford. “This is a little surprising because the region is fairly cool, so you might think it would benefit from moderate amounts of warming. Our next step was to actually measure the potential of European farmers to adapt to these impacts."