Prediction of seasonal climate-induced variations in global food production

Toshichika Iizumi, Hirofumi Sakuma, Masayuki Yokosawa, Jing Jia Luo, Andrew J. Challinor, Molly E. Brown, Gen Sakurai, Toshio Yamagata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Consumers, including the poor in many countries, are increasingly dependent on food imports and are thus exposed to variations in yields, production and export prices in the major food-producing regions of the world. National governments and commercial entities are therefore paying increased attention to the cropping forecasts of important food-exporting countries as well as to their own domestic food production. Given the increased volatility of food markets and the rising incidence of climatic extremes affecting food production, food price spikes may increase in prevalence in future years. Here we present a global assessment of the reliability of crop failure hindcasts for major crops at two lead times derived by linking ensemble seasonal climatic forecasts with statistical crop models. We found that moderate-to-marked yield loss over a substantial percentage (26-33%) of the harvested area of these crops is reliably predictable if climatic forecasts are near perfect. However, only rice and wheat production are reliably predictable at three months before the harvest using within-season hindcasts. The reliabilities of estimates varied substantially by crop - rice and wheat yields were the most predictable, followed by soybean and maize. The reasons for variation in the reliability of the estimates included the differences in crop sensitivity to the climate and the technology used by the crop-producing regions. Our findings reveal that the use of seasonal climatic forecasts to predict crop failures will be useful for monitoring global food production and will encourage the adaptation of food systems toclimatic extremes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-908
Number of pages5
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume3
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct
Externally publishedYes

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food production
climate
food
crop
prediction
rice
wheat
food market
exporting country
import
soybean
cropping practice
maize
incidence
monitoring
forecast
market

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Iizumi, T., Sakuma, H., Yokosawa, M., Luo, J. J., Challinor, A. J., Brown, M. E., ... Yamagata, T. (2013). Prediction of seasonal climate-induced variations in global food production. Nature Climate Change, 3(10), 904-908. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1945

Prediction of seasonal climate-induced variations in global food production. / Iizumi, Toshichika; Sakuma, Hirofumi; Yokosawa, Masayuki; Luo, Jing Jia; Challinor, Andrew J.; Brown, Molly E.; Sakurai, Gen; Yamagata, Toshio.

In: Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, No. 10, 10.2013, p. 904-908.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Iizumi, T, Sakuma, H, Yokosawa, M, Luo, JJ, Challinor, AJ, Brown, ME, Sakurai, G & Yamagata, T 2013, 'Prediction of seasonal climate-induced variations in global food production', Nature Climate Change, vol. 3, no. 10, pp. 904-908. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1945
Iizumi, Toshichika ; Sakuma, Hirofumi ; Yokosawa, Masayuki ; Luo, Jing Jia ; Challinor, Andrew J. ; Brown, Molly E. ; Sakurai, Gen ; Yamagata, Toshio. / Prediction of seasonal climate-induced variations in global food production. In: Nature Climate Change. 2013 ; Vol. 3, No. 10. pp. 904-908.
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