About negative impacts of climate change on the food supply for a growing global population, a new study by researchers from Brown and Tufts universities showed that researchers have been overlooking how 2 key human responses to climate, how much land people choose to farm, and the number of crops they plant will impact food production in the future.
The study focused on the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, an emerging global breadbasket that as of 2013 supplied 10% of the world’s soybeans. The researchers looked not only at crop yield, but also at year-to-year variation in crop area and double cropping. It was found that cropland is identified as areas that turn green during the growing season, and then quickly become brown, after harvest. 2 green-ups in the same growing season indicate the land is being double-cropped.
The study showed that temperature increases of 1oC were associated with substantial decreases in both total crop area and double cropping. Those decreases accounted for 70% of the overall loss in production found in the study. Only the remaining 30% was attributable to crop yield.