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Impacts Of El Niño Southern Oscillation On The Global Yields Of Major Crops.

T. Iizumi, Jing-Jia Luo, A. Challinor, G. Sakurai, M. Yokozawa, H. Sakuma, M. Brown, T. Yamagata
Published 2014 · Medicine, Biology

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The monitoring and prediction of climate-induced variations in crop yields, production and export prices in major food-producing regions have become important to enable national governments in import-dependent countries to ensure supplies of affordable food for consumers. Although the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) often affects seasonal temperature and precipitation, and thus crop yields in many regions, the overall impacts of ENSO on global yields are uncertain. Here we present a global map of the impacts of ENSO on the yields of major crops and quantify its impacts on their global-mean yield anomalies. Results show that El Niño likely improves the global-mean soybean yield by 2.1-5.4% but appears to change the yields of maize, rice and wheat by -4.3 to +0.8%. The global-mean yields of all four crops during La Niña years tend to be below normal (-4.5 to 0.0%). Our findings highlight the importance of ENSO to global crop production.
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