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Integrated Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Corn Yield in the U.S. Using a Crop Model  Public Access Limited Time

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 60(6): 2123-2136. (doi: 10.13031/trans.12314) @2017
Authors:   Kenichi Tatsumi
Keywords:   Climate change impacts, CO2 effects, Corn yield, Multiple GCMs, Uncertainty.

Abstract. A detailed analysis was conducted of the effects of climate change and increased carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations on corn yield in the U.S. with a crop model using outputs from multiple general circulation models (multi-GCMs). Corn yield was simulated for 1999-2010, for the 2050s (average for 2041-2060), and for the 2070s (average for 2061-2080) under the representative concentration pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) climate scenario. Results indicated a shortening of the growing period (GP), decreased water use efficiency (WUE) in almost all regions, and increased evapotranspiration (ET) during GP in almost all regions except for the southern U.S. Using multi-GCMs, the simulations under the RCP8.5 scenario resulted in negative effects of climate change on yield in almost all regions during both future periods. Especially strong negative impacts were reported south of latitude 40° N due to less optimal growing conditions. On the other hand, there were relatively smaller negative impacts in high-latitude regions (approximately north of latitude 40° N) due to more optimal growing conditions because of larger temperature changes compared to low-latitude and mid-latitude regions. Higher CO2 concentrations have the potential to increase corn yield. CO2 effects resulted in an approximately 0.04% to 0.05% increase in yield per 1 ppm increase in CO2 concentration under the RCP8.5 scenario, but the negative impacts of increased temperatures fully outweighed the CO2-fertilization effects.

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