Assessing the impact of climate change on crop yields in Europe

Rising greenhouse gas emissions lead to changes in our climate, including more variability in temperature, rainfall, and extreme climate events like droughts, storms and floods. The future of our food production is threatened because agriculture is vulnerable to climate change. In Europe, wheat is one of the most important staple foods, as well as a major part of agriculture in terms of planted land, resources, economics, and culture. This project aims to predict how climate change will affect wheat production in Europe in the future.

Instead of field experiments, climate and crop models will be used together in this project to predict how different future scenarios in Europe will affect wheat yield. Climate models represent our most current scientific understanding of our atmosphere and are tools for simulating future climate. Crop models simulate how plants grow in different weather and climate, with varying genetics, soil and other biological factors. Predictions of yields support policymakers and farmers in adapting to climate change. Information on future yields may also be useful to motivate research in breeding crops that are adapted to future climate, and bolster efforts to mitigate greenhouse gases, which have adverse effects on our food and planet.

Outreach and impact

Monica is a great example of how academics can use outreach to spread the environmental message. In her last blog before graduating, Monica tells us about the next generation of environmental thinkers – kids.

Read: The next generation of environmental thinkers

In another blog, Monica reflects on how a changing climate is affecting women around the world.

Read:  Gender, climate change and food security

Monica Ortiz