Mitigation efforts will not fully alleviate the increase in water scarcity occurrence probability in wheat-producing areas

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Trnka, M., Feng, S., Semenov, M. A., Olesen, J. E., Kersebaum, K. C., Rotter, R. P., Semeradova, D., Klem, K., Huang, W., Ruiz-Ramos, M., Hlavinka, P, Meitner, J., Balek, J., Havlik P. and Buntgen, U. 2019. Mitigation efforts will not fully alleviate the increase in water scarcity occurrence probability in wheat-producing areas . Science Advances. 5 (9), p. eaau2406.

AuthorsTrnka, M., Feng, S., Semenov, M. A., Olesen, J. E., Kersebaum, K. C., Rotter, R. P., Semeradova, D., Klem, K., Huang, W., Ruiz-Ramos, M., Hlavinka, P, Meitner, J., Balek, J., Havlik P. and Buntgen, U.
Abstract

Global warming is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of severe water scarcity (SWS) events, which negatively affect rain-fed crops such as wheat, a key source of calories and protein for humans. Here, we develop a method to simultaneously quantify SWS over the world’s entire wheat-growing area and calculate the probabilities of multiple/sequential SWS events for baseline and future climates. Our projections show that, without climate change mitigation (representative concentration pathway 8.5), up to 60% of the current wheat-growing area will face simultaneous SWS events by the end of this century, compared to 15% today. Climate change stabilization in line with the Paris Agreement would substantially reduce the negative effects, but they would still double between 2041 and 2070 compared to current conditions. Future assessments of production shocks in food security should explicitly include the risk of severe, prolonged, and near-simultaneous droughts across key world wheat-producing areas.

Year of Publication2019
JournalScience Advances
Journal citation5 (9), p. eaau2406
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1126/sciadv.aau2406
Open accessPublished as bronze (free) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeDesigning Future Wheat - WP1 - Increased efficiency and sustainability
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online25 Sep 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted03 Sep 2019
PublisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
ISSN2375-2548

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