The impact of climate change in wheat and barley yields in the Iberian

Bento VA, Ribeiro AFS, Russo A, Gouveia CA, Cardoso RM, Soares
Sci Rep 11, 15484. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-95014-6

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The impact of climate change on wheat and barley yields in two regions of the Iberian Peninsula is here examined. Regression models are developed by using EURO-CORDEX regional climate model (RCM) simulations, forced by ERA-Interim, with monthly maximum and minimum air temperatures and monthly accumulated precipitation as predictors. Additionally, RCM simulations forced by different global climate models for the historical period (19722000) and mid-of-century (20422070; under the two emission scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) are analysed. Results point to different regional responses of wheat and barley. In the southernmost regions, results indicate that the main yield driver is spring maximum temperature, while further north a larger dependence on spring precipitation and early winter maximum temperature is observed. Climate change seems to induce severe yield losses in the southern region, mainly due to an increase in spring maximum temperature. On the contrary, a yield increase is projected in the northern regions, with the main driver being early winter warming that stimulates earlier growth. These results warn on the need to implement sustainable agriculture policies, and on the necessity of regional adaptation strategies.