Two-thirds of global cropland area impacted by climate oscillations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

Research units

  • Columbia University
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Humboldt University of Berlin
  • University of Bonn

Abstract

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) peaked strongly during the boreal winter 2015-2016, leading to food insecurity in many parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Besides ENSO, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) are known to impact crop yields worldwide. Here we assess for the first time in a unified framework the relationships between ENSO, IOD and NAO and simulated crop productivity at the sub-country scale. Our findings reveal that during 1961-2010, crop productivity is significantly influenced by at least one large-scale climate oscillation in two-thirds of global cropland area. Besides observing new possible links, especially for NAO in Africa and the Middle East, our analyses confirm several known relationships between crop productivity and these oscillations. Our results improve the understanding of climatological crop productivity drivers, which is essential for enhancing food security in many of the most vulnerable places on the planet.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number1257
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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