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Stanford research shows importance of European farmers adapting to climate change
Date:5/22/2014

tter suited to warmer temperatures," said Lobell, the associate director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford. "These things have been talked about for a long time, but the novelty of this study was using past data to quantify the actual potential of adaptation to reduce climate change impacts. We find that in some cases adaptation could substantially reduce impacts, but in other cases the potential may be very limited with current technologies."

According to the analysis, corn has the highest adaptation potential. Moore and Lobell predict that corn farmers can reduce yield losses by as much as 87 percent through long-term adaptation.

As Moore pointed out, three key areas of uncertainty make it difficult to predict the future of crop yields in Europe. Most scientists focus on the uncertainty around future climate conditions, but the Stanford team found that the biggest issues are often how quickly farmers in Europe will adapt to climate change (adaptation uncertainty) and how crop yields will respond to climate change (response uncertainty).

In future research, Moore and Lobell hope to focus on measuring how quickly farmers are adapting to changing temperatures.

"This paper has shown that crops in Europe are sensitive to warming and that adaptation can be important in reducing that impact," Moore said. "The next question is how quickly farmers will use the available options for adapting. Europe has already seen a lot of warming, so we should expect to already see adaptation if farmers are quick to respond to climate signals."


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Contact: David Lobell
dlobell@stanford.edu
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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