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Atmosphere 2013, 4(4), 365-382;

A Methodology to Infer Crop Yield Response to Climate Variability and Change Using Long-Term Observations

Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, Guy Ourisson Building, P.O. Box 27456, CY-1645 Nicosia, Cyprus
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2013 / Revised: 4 October 2013 / Accepted: 8 October 2013 / Published: 8 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agrometeorology: From Scientific Analysis to Operational Application)
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A new methodology to extract crop yield response to climate variability and change from long-term crop yield observations is presented in this study. In contrast to the existing first-difference approach (FDA), the proposed methodology considers that the difference in value between crop yields of two consecutive years reflects necessarily the contributions of climate and management conditions, especially at large spatial scales where both conditions may vary significantly from one year to the next. Our approach was applied to remove the effect of non-climatic factors on crop yield and, hence, to isolate the effect of the observed climate change between 1961 and 2006 on three widely crops grown in three Mediterranean countries—namely wheat, corn and potato—using national-level crop yield observations’ time-series. Obtained results show that the proposed methodology provides us with a ground basis to improve substantially our understanding of crop yield response to climate change at a scale that is relevant to large-scale estimations of agricultural production and to food security analyses; and therefore to reduce uncertainties in estimations of potential climate change effects on agricultural production. Furthermore, a comparison of outputs of our methodology and FDA outputs yielded a difference in terms of maize production in Egypt, for example, that exceeds the production of some neighbouring countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop yield; climate change; new methodology; reducing uncertainties crop yield; climate change; new methodology; reducing uncertainties

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El-Maayar, M.; Lange, M.A. A Methodology to Infer Crop Yield Response to Climate Variability and Change Using Long-Term Observations. Atmosphere 2013, 4, 365-382.

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