“New research suggests farms in developed countries may be more vulnerable to longer, deeper droughts predicted to occur as a result of climate change.
“(Those farms) are really good in terms of producing high yields in stable climates, but maybe they’re more vulnerable to weather shocks,” said Navin Ramankutty of the University of British Columbia, co-author of a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Ramankutty and his colleagues examined United Nations crop data from 177 countries between the years 1964 and 2007. Yields were correlated with about 2,800 extreme weather events over that time, including heat waves, droughts, cold snaps and floods.
The researchers found that droughts produced the greatest impact on yields. But in what Ramankutty called “a big surprise,” droughts hit farms in North America, Europe and Australia much harder than they hit farms in less-developed countries.”
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