by Tom Marshall
A warming world is putting crops at risk, according to scientists who studied how the weather affects French maize yields.
If climate-change projections are right, we'll need to improve yields per acre by as much as 12 per cent between 2016 and 2035 just to maintain today's total production.
The results reveal a real threat to our food supply in the coming decades. It turns out that maize yields drop significantly for every day when temperatures climb over around 32°C, and that heat stress has been as important an influence on maize yield as variation in rainfall since the turn of the century.
Over the past 50 years, the average number of days over this dangerous threshold has already risen from around three per year to more than five, and it is predicted to grow to around ten a year over the next two decades. In some major maize-growing regions it could be as much as 15 days per year above this damaging threshold.
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Climate change threatens corn crops