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Climate Forecasts Predict Crop Failures
Friday, 2013/07/26 | 14:11:10

A new study by an international team of scientists suggests that climate data can help predict some crop failures months before the harvest. The team led by Toshichika Iizumi from Japan's National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences have created and tested a new crop model to examine the reliability and timeliness of crop failure forecasts. Iizumi and his team incorporated temperature and precipitation forecasts and satellite observations from 1983 to 2006 and examined how well those data predicted the crop yield or failure at the end of each season.


The team studied four crops – corn, soybeans, wheat, and rice – but the model proved most useful for wheat and rice, and for these two key crops, a computer model could predict crop failures three months in advance for about 20 percent of global cropland. Crop failures in regions of some major exporters of rice and wheat, such as Australia and Paraguay, could be predicted several months in advance, according to the study.


The results of this study appear in the journal Nature Climate Change. For more details, read the news release at http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/climate-forecasts-shown-to-warn-of-crop-failures/#.Ue3t-NI0V8E.

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