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Climate Change and Maize Yield in Iowa

By Hong Xu (71477), Tracy E. Twine (2806696) and Evan Girvetz (2806699)


<div><p>Climate is changing across the world, including the major maize-growing state of Iowa in the USA. To maintain crop yields, farmers will need a suite of adaptation strategies, and choice of strategy will depend on how the local to regional climate is expected to change. Here we predict how maize yield might change through the 21<sup>st</sup> century as compared with late 20<sup>th</sup> century yields across Iowa, USA, a region representing ideal climate and soils for maize production that contributes substantially to the global maize economy. To account for climate model uncertainty, we drive a dynamic ecosystem model with output from six climate models and two future climate forcing scenarios. Despite a wide range in the predicted amount of warming and change to summer precipitation, all simulations predict a decrease in maize yields from late 20<sup>th</sup> century to middle and late 21<sup>st</sup> century ranging from 15% to 50%. Linear regression of all models predicts a 6% state-averaged yield decrease for every 1°C increase in warm season average air temperature. When the influence of moisture stress on crop growth is removed from the model, yield decreases either remain the same or are reduced, depending on predicted changes in warm season precipitation. Our results suggest that even if maize were to receive all the water it needed, under the strongest climate forcing scenario yields will decline by 10–20% by the end of the 21<sup>st</sup> century.</p></div

Topics: Medicine, Ecology, Sociology, Plant Biology, Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified, Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified, season precipitation, summer precipitation, maize production, crop yields, climate model uncertainty, moisture stress, ecosystem model, adaptation strategies, climate models, 21 st century, Iowa Climate, crop growth, future climate, climate Change, maize yields, maize economy, USA, century yields, Maize Yield, scenario yields, air temperature
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156083
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Provided by: FigShare
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