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Over-optimistic projected future wheat yield potential in the North China Plain: the role of future climate extremes


Yang, R and Dai, P and Wang, B and Jin, T and Liu, K and Fahad, S and Harrison, MT and Man, J and Shang, J and Meinke, H and Liu, D and Wang, X and Zhang, Y and Zhou, M and Tian, Y and Yan, H, Over-optimistic projected future wheat yield potential in the North China Plain: the role of future climate extremes, Agronomy, 12, (1) Article 145. ISSN 2073-4395 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright: 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.3390/agronomy12010145


Global warming and altered precipitation patterns pose a serious threat to crop production in the North China Plain (NCP). Quantifying the frequency of adverse climate events (e.g., frost, heat and drought) under future climates and assessing how those climatic extreme events would affect yield are important to effectively inform and make science-based adaptation options for agriculture in a changing climate. In this study, we evaluated the effects of heat and frost stress during sensitive phenological stages at four representative sites in the NCP using the APSIM-wheat model. climate data included historical and future climates, the latter being informed by projections from 22 Global Climate Models (GCMs) in the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) for the period 20312060 (2050s). Our results show that current projections of future wheat yield potential in the North China Plain may be overestimated; after more accurately accounting for the effects of frost and heat stress in the model, yield projections for 2031-60 decreased from 31% to 9%. Clustering of common drought-stress seasonal patterns into key groups revealed that moderate drought stress environments are likely to be alleviated in the future, although the frequency of severe drought-stress environments would remain similar (25%) to that occurring under the current climate. We highlight the importance of mechanistically accounting for temperature stress on crop physiology, enabling more robust projections of crop yields under future the burgeoning climate crisis.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:global, climate change, climate crisis, crop trait, adaptation, drought, stress, heat wave, natural disaster, crop breeding, irrigation, nitrogen, extreme climatic events, water deficit, crop, wheat, rice, maize, phenology, development, grain, kernel
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
UTAS Author:Liu, K (Dr Ke Liu)
UTAS Author:Harrison, MT (Associate Professor Matthew Harrison)
UTAS Author:Meinke, H (Professor Holger Meinke)
UTAS Author:Zhou, M (Professor Meixue Zhou)
ID Code:148341
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2021-12-24
Last Modified:2022-11-15
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