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      Recent climate and air pollution impacts on Indian agriculture.

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          Abstract

          Recent research on the agricultural impacts of climate change has primarily focused on the roles of temperature and precipitation. These studies show that India has already been negatively affected by recent climate trends. However, anthropogenic climate changes are a result of both global emissions of long-lived greenhouse gases (LLGHGs) and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). Two potent SLCPs, tropospheric ozone and black carbon, have direct effects on crop yields beyond their indirect effects through climate; emissions of black carbon and ozone precursors have risen dramatically in India over the past three decades. Here, to our knowledge for the first time, we present results of the combined effects of climate change and the direct effects of SLCPs on wheat and rice yields in India from 1980 to 2010. Our statistical model suggests that, averaged over India, yields in 2010 were up to 36% lower for wheat than they otherwise would have been, absent climate and pollutant emissions trends, with some densely populated states experiencing 50% relative yield losses. [Our point estimates for rice (-20%) are similarly large, but not statistically significant.] Upper-bound estimates suggest that an overwhelming fraction (90%) of these losses is due to the direct effects of SLCPs. Gains from addressing regional air pollution could thus counter expected future yield losses resulting from direct climate change effects of LLGHGs.

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          Most cited references 52

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          Bounding the role of black carbon in the climate system: A scientific assessment

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            Climate trends and global crop production since 1980.

            Efforts to anticipate how climate change will affect future food availability can benefit from understanding the impacts of changes to date. We found that in the cropping regions and growing seasons of most countries, with the important exception of the United States, temperature trends from 1980 to 2008 exceeded one standard deviation of historic year-to-year variability. Models that link yields of the four largest commodity crops to weather indicate that global maize and wheat production declined by 3.8 and 5.5%, respectively, relative to a counterfactual without climate trends. For soybeans and rice, winners and losers largely balanced out. Climate trends were large enough in some countries to offset a significant portion of the increases in average yields that arose from technology, carbon dioxide fertilization, and other factors.
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              Prioritizing climate change adaptation needs for food security in 2030.

              Investments aimed at improving agricultural adaptation to climate change inevitably favor some crops and regions over others. An analysis of climate risks for crops in 12 food-insecure regions was conducted to identify adaptation priorities, based on statistical crop models and climate projections for 2030 from 20 general circulation models. Results indicate South Asia and Southern Africa as two regions that, without sufficient adaptation measures, will likely suffer negative impacts on several crops that are important to large food-insecure human populations. We also find that uncertainties vary widely by crop, and therefore priorities will depend on the risk attitudes of investment institutions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                1091-6490
                0027-8424
                Nov 18 2014
                : 111
                : 46
                Affiliations
                [1 ] School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla CA 92093; and jburney@ucsd.edu.
                [2 ] Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037.
                Article
                1317275111
                10.1073/pnas.1317275111
                4246269
                25368149

                agriculture, ozone, India, aerosols, climate impacts

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