A framework for improved predictions of the climate impacts on potential yields of UK winter wheat and its applicability to other UK crops

Hayman, Garry ORCID:; Redhead, John W. ORCID:; Brown, Matthew ORCID:; Pinnington, Ewan; Gerard, France; Brown, Mike ORCID:; Fincham, William ORCID:; Robinson, Emma L. ORCID:; Huntingford, Chris ORCID:; Pywell, Richard F. ORCID: 2024 A framework for improved predictions of the climate impacts on potential yields of UK winter wheat and its applicability to other UK crops. Climate Services, 34, 100479. 23, pp.

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•Changes in the frequency of extreme weather events related to climate change potentially pose significant challenges to UK agricultural production. There is a need for improved climate change risk assessments to support adaptation strategies and to ensure security of food production in future. •We describe an innovative and practical framework for spatially explicit modelling of climate change impacts on crop yields, based on the UKCP18 climate projections. Our approach allows the integration of relatively simple crop growth models with high spatial and temporal resolution Earth Observation datasets, describing changes in crop growth parameters within year and over the longer term. We focus on modelling winter wheat, a commercially important crop. We evaluate the results of the model against precision yield data collected from 719 fields. We show that the assimilation of leaf area index data from Sentinel-2 satellite observations improves the agreement of the modelled yields with those observed. Our national-scale results indicate that wheat production initially becomes more favourable under climate change across much of the UK with the projected increase in temperature. From 2050 onwards, yields increase northwards, whilst they decline in South East England as the decrease in precipitation offsets the benefits of rising temperature. •Our framework can readily accommodate growth models for other crops and LAI retrievals from other satellite sensors. The ability to explore impacts of crop yields at fine spatial resolutions is an important part of assessing the potential risks of climate change to UK agriculture and of designing more climate resilient agricultural systems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
Hydro-climate Risks (Science Area 2017-)
Pollution (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2405-8807
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: climate change adaptation, UKCP18, data assimilation, earth observation, precision yield data
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Meteorology and Climatology
Data and Information
Date made live: 10 May 2024 09:25 +0 (UTC)

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