Climate change effects on the climatic space and macronutrients of maize, wheat, rice and soybean.

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Insinööritieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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Master's Programme in Water and Environmental Engineering (WAT)
25 + 5
Many studies have shown the impacts of climate change to global crop production. A recent study has shown that climate change will risk pushing a third of global crops to climatic conditions in which no crops are being produced currently. Therefore, in this study, I aimed to focus my research on the impacts of climate change to the climatic space of production of four major crops: wheat, rice, maize and soybean. Moreover, I quantified how the change of production would affect the calorie and protein supply of each crop and how does this relate to the current nutritional supply of each country. The analysis was conducted based on the concept of safe climatic space (SCS) that incorporates three climatic parameters: precipitation, temperature and aridity. The SCS was defined based on historical climate data from 1970 – 2000, and future projections were made for global warming scenarios of 2oC, 3oC and 5oC. The climatic conditions that sustain most of the current crop production were delineated and compared to the future climatic conditions to find out production that would fall outside the SCS. To compute the percentage of calorie and protein supply of the studied crops that would fall outside SCS, baseline dependency on a crop was quantified and multiplied with the percentage of production of that crop that would fall outside SCS. The analysis results show that, if future temperature increase is restricted to 2oC by the end of the century, only 7% - 17% of production, 0.3% - 2% of global calorie supply and 0.1% - 3% of global protein supply of wheat, rice, maize, and soybean crops would be affected. On the contrary, if global temperature were to rise by 5oC, 23% - 61% of production, 1% – 6% of global calorie supply and 0.3% – 7% of global protein supply of the studied crops will fall outside their SCS. It was also found that countries in the regions of Central America, South America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa will have high food and nutritional insecurity as these countries will have >90% of the studied crops production to fall outside the SCS. These findings highlight the importance of limiting the future global warming to 2oC and the adoption of adaptation strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change and to ensure food and nutritional security in the future.
Kummu, Matti
Thesis advisor
Heino, Matias
Heikonen, Sara
crop production, macronutrient, climate change, climatic conditions, Holdridge life zones
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