In the future, climate change will challenge food security by threatening crop production. Humid subtropical regions play an important role in global food security, with crop rotations often including wheat (winter crop) and soybean and maize (summer crops). Over the last 30 years, the humid subtropics in the Northern Hemisphere have experienced a stronger warming trend than in the Southern Hemisphere, and the trend is projected to continue throughout the mid- and end of century. Past rainfall trends range, from increases up to 4% per decade in Southeast China to −3% decadal decline in East Australia; a similar trend is projected in the future. Climate change impact studies suggest that by the middle and end of the century, wheat yields may not change, or they will increase up to 17%. Soybean yields will increase between 3% and 41%, while maize yields will increase by 30% or decline by −40%. These wide-ranging climate change impacts are partly due to the region-specific projections, but also due to different global climate models, climate change scenarios, single-model uncertainties, and cropping system assumptions, making it difficult to make conclusions from these impact studies and develop adaptation strategies. Additionally, most of the crop models used in these studies do not include major common stresses in this environment, such as heat, frost, excess water, pests, and diseases. Standard protocols and impact assessments across the humid subtropical regions are needed to understand climate change impacts and prepare for adaptation strategies.
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