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Title: Climate change and global crop yield : impacts, uncertainties and adaptation
Author: Deryng, Delphine
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 1459
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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As global mean temperature continues to rise steadily, agricultural systems are projected to face unprecedented challenges to cope with climate change. However, understanding of climate change impacts on global crop yield, and of farmers' adaptive capacity, remains incomplete as previous global assessments: (1) inadequately evaluated the role of extreme weather events; (2) focused on a small subset of the full range of climate change predictions; (3) overlooked uncertainties related to the choice of crop modelling approach and; (4) simpli�ed the representation of farming adaptation strategies. This research aimed to assess climate change impacts on global crop yield that accounts for the knowledge gaps listed above, based on the further development and application of the global crop model PEGASUS. Four main research topics are presented. First, I investigated the roles of extreme heat stress at anthesis on crop yield and uncertainties related to the use of seventy-two climate change scenarios. I showed large disparities in impacts across regions as extreme temperatures adversely a�ects major areas of crop production and lower income countries, the latter appear likely to face larger reduction in crop yields. Second, I coordinated the �rst global gridded crop model intercomparison study, comparing simulations of crop yield and water use under climate change. I found modelled global average crop water productivity increases by up to 17�20.3% when including carbon fertilisation e�ects, but decreases to {28�13.9% when excluding them; and identi�ed fundamental uncertainties and gaps in our understanding of crop response to elevated carbon dioxide. Third, to link climate impacts with adaptation, I introduced the recently developed concept of representative agricultural pathways and examined their potential use in models to explore farming adaptation options within biophysical and socio-economic constraints. Finally, I explored tradeo�s between increasing nitrogen fertiliser use to close the global maize yield gap and the resulting nitrous oxide emissions. I found global maize production increases by 62% based on current harvested area using intensive rates of nitrogen fertiliser. This raises the share of nitrous oxide emissions associated with maize production from 20 to 32% of global cereal related emissions. Finally, these results demonstrated that in some regions increasing nitrogen fertiliser application, without addressing other limiting factors such as soil nutrient imbalance and water scarcity, could raise nitrous oxide emissions without enhancing crop yield.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available