Impact of Climate Change, Weather Extremes, and Price Risk on Global Food Supply

  • Mekbib G. HaileEmail author
  • Tesfamicheal Wossen
  • Kindie Tesfaye
  • Joachim von Braun
Original Paper


We analyze the determinants of global crop production for maize, wheat, rice, and soybeans over the period 1961–2013. Using seasonal production data and price change and price volatility information at country level, as well as future climate data from 32 global circulation models, we project that climate change could reduce global crop production by 9% in the 2030s and by 23% in the 2050s. Climate change leads to 1–3% higher annual fluctuations of global crop production over the next four decades. We find strong, positive and statistically significant supply response to changing prices for all four crops. However, output price volatility, which signals risk to producers, reduces the supply of these key global agricultural staple crops—especially for wheat and maize. We find that climate change has significant adverse effects on production of the world’s key staple crops. Especially, weather extremes— in terms of shocks in both temperature and precipitation— during crop growing months have detrimental impacts on the production of the abovementioned food crops. Weather extremes also exacerbate the year-to-year fluctuations of food availability, and thus may further increase price volatility with its adverse impacts on production and poor consumers. Combating climate change using both mitigation and adaptation technologies is therefore crucial for global production and hence food security.


Food supply Climate change Weather extremes Price volatility Staple crops Global 

JEL Classifications

Q11 Q15 Q54 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Development Research, Bonn UniversityBonnGermany
  2. 2.International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)AbujaNigeria
  3. 3.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)Addis AbabaEthiopia

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