Climate change crimps crop output: study

Climate change has caused global corn and wheat production to drop between 3% and 5% over the last 30 years, a new study has found.

Customers have paid the price, with the cost of food rising 6% since 1980, said the report, which was authored by academics from Stanford University, Columbia University and the U.S National Bureau of Economic Research.

By studying historical food production and weather data from around the world between the years 1980 and 2008, the authors were able to identify a drop in corn and wheat production as the climate warmed, while soybean and rice crops remained stable.

The study was published in the journal Science.

The research has applications for Australia, where wheat remains a major export but has been seriously affected by global warming, said Dr Qunying Luo, an expert in the effect of climate change on agriculture from the University of Technology, Sydney.

“There is growing evidence that wheat output is affected by climate change that is related to human activities,” she told The Conversation.

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