Climatic Change

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 1–6

The impact of climate change on agriculture

Editorial essay
  • Susan Helms
  • Robert Mendelsohn
  • Jim Neumann
Article

Conclusion

Studies that include moderate climate forecasts, farmer adaptation, carbon fertilization, and warm-loving crops tend to show that climate change will have only mild impacts on average global agricultural output and may even improve temperate agricultural production. On this point, recent studies yield strikingly consistent results. Of course, impact estimates still contain uncertainties. Key questions include how agriculture might change by 2060, how tropical and subtropical farming will be affected, and how effects will be distributed regionally. The most likely threat to agriculture from climate warming is regional damages in relatively poor areas that lack either the knowledge or the financial resources to adjust. Although it is not clear which regions will actually suffer, the ones that are most vulnerable lie predominantly in or near the tropics (IPCC, 1995). Nonetheless, on average, the factors discussed in this essay will help mitigate the impact of climate change on agriculture.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adams, R., Fleming, R., Change, C., McCarl, B., and Rosenzweig, C.: Sep. 1993, ‘A Reassessment of the Economic Effects of Global Climate Change on U.S. Agriculture’, unpublished.Google Scholar
  2. Cline, W.: 1992, The Economics of Global Warming, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  3. Crosson, P.: 1993, ‘Impacts of Climate Change on the Agriculture and Economy of the Missouri, Iowa, Nebrask and Kansas (MINK) Region’, in Kaiser, H. and Drennen, T. (eds.), Agricultural Dimensions of Global Climate Change.Google Scholar
  4. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): 1990a, Scientific Assessment of Climate Change: Report Prepared for IPCC by Working Group I, World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Programme, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): 1990b, Potential Impacts of Climate Change: Report Prepared by Working Group II, World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Programme, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): 1995, Draft, IPCC Working Group II Second Assessment Report, World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Programme, 24 October, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Kaiser, H. and Drennen, T. (eds.): 1993, Agricultural Dimensions of Global Climate Change, St. Lucie Press, Delray Beach, FL.Google Scholar
  8. Kaiser, H., Riha, S., Wilkes, D., and Sampath, R.: 1993, ‘Adaptation to Global Climate Change at the Farm Level’, in Kaiser, H. and Drennen, T. (eds.), Agricultural Dimensions of Global Climate Change.Google Scholar
  9. Kaiser, H., Riha, S., Wilkes, D., and Sampath, R.: 1995, ‘Potential Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Agriculture’, ERS Staff Paper No. 9522.Google Scholar
  10. Kane, S., Reilly, J., and Tobey, J.: 1991, Climate Change: Economic Implications for World Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  11. Kimball, B.: 1982, ‘Carbon Dioxide and Agricultural Yield’, Agronomy J. 75, 779–788.Google Scholar
  12. Mendelsohn, R., Nordhaus, W, and Shaw, D.: 1994, ‘The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture: A Ricardian Analysis’, Amer. Economic Rev. 84 (4), 753–771.Google Scholar
  13. Parry, M. and Carter, T.: 1988, ‘The Assessment of Effects of Climatic Variations on Agriculture: Aims, Methods and Summary of Results’, in Parry, M., Carter, T., and Konijn, N. (eds.), The Impact of Climatic Variations on Agriculture, IIASA, UNDP.Google Scholar
  14. Reilly, J. and Thomas, C.: 1993, ‘Toward Economic Evaluation of Climate Change Impacts: A Review and Evaluation of Studies of the Impact of Climate Change’, paper for the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, MIT, June.Google Scholar
  15. Rosenzweig, C.: 1989, ‘Potential Effects of Climate Change on Agricultural Production in the Great Plains: A Simulation Study’, in Smith, J. and Tirpak, D. (eds.), The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States, EPA, Washington, May.Google Scholar
  16. Rosenzweig, C. and Parry, M.: 1993, ‘Potential Impacts of Climate Change on World Food Supply: A Summary of Recent International Study’, in Kaiser, H. and Drennen, T. (eds.), Agricultural Dimensions of Global Climate Change.Google Scholar
  17. Rosenzweig, C., Phillips, J., Goldberg, R., Carroll, J., and Hodges, T.: 1996, ‘Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Citrus and Potato Production in the U.S.’, in press.Google Scholar
  18. Shaw, D., Mendelsohn, R., and Nordhaus, W.: 1994, ‘The Impact of Climate Variation on Agriculture’, Yale FES, New Haven, CT, unpublished.Google Scholar
  19. Strain, B. and Cure, J.: 1985, ‘Status of Knowledge and Recommendations for Future Work’, in Strain, B. and Cure, J. (eds.), Direct Effects of Increasing Carbon Dioxide on Vegetation, DOE/ER-0238.Google Scholar
  20. Wittwer, S.: 1986, ‘Worldwide Status and History of CO2 Enrichment: An Overview’, Carbon Dioxide Enrichment of Greenhouse Crops, Florida, pp. 3–15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Helms
    • 1
  • Robert Mendelsohn
    • 2
  • Jim Neumann
    • 3
  1. 1.Triangle Economic ResearchDurhamU.S.A.
  2. 2.Yale School of Forestry and Environmental StudiesNew HaveU.S.A.
  3. 3.Industrial Economics Inc.CambridgeU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations