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Jagermeyr, Jonas; Mueller, Christoph; Ruane, Alex C.; Elliott, Joshua; Balkovic, Juraj; Castillo, Oscar; Faye, Babacar; Foster, Ian; Folberth, Christian; Franke, James A.; Fuchs, Kathrin; Guarin, Jose R.; Heinke, Jens; Hoogenboom, Gerrit; Iizumi, Toshichika; Jain, Atul K.; Kelly, David; Khabarov, Nikolay; Lange, Stefan; Lin, Tzu-Shun; Liu, Wenfeng; Mialyk, Oleksandr; Minoli, Sara; Moyer, Elisabeth J.; Okada, Masashi; Phillips, Meridel; Porter, Cheryl; Rabin, Sam S.; Scheer, Clemens; Schneider, Julia M.; Schyns, Joep F.; Skalsky, Rastislav; Smerald, Andrew; Stella, Tommaso; Stephens, Haynes; Webber, Heidi; Zabel, Florian and Rosenzweig, Cynthia (2021): Climate impacts on global agriculture emerge earlier in new generation of climate and crop models. In: Nature Food, Vol. 2, No. 11: pp. 873-885

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Potential climate-related impacts on future crop yield are a major societal concern. Previous projections of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project's Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison based on the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 identified substantial climate impacts on all major crops, but associated uncertainties were substantial. Here we report new twenty-first-century projections using ensembles of latest-generation crop and climate models. Results suggest markedly more pessimistic yield responses for maize, soybean and rice compared to the original ensemble. Mean end-of-century maize productivity is shifted from +5% to -6% (SSP126) and from +1% to -24% (SSP585)-explained by warmer climate projections and improved crop model sensitivities. In contrast, wheat shows stronger gains (+9% shifted to +18%, SSP585), linked to higher CO2 concentrations and expanded high-latitude gains. The 'emergence' of climate impacts consistently occurs earlier in the new projections-before 2040 for several main producing regions. While future yield estimates remain uncertain, these results suggest that major breadbasket regions will face distinct anthropogenic climatic risks sooner than previously anticipated. Climate change affects agricultural productivity. New systematic global agricultural yield projections of the major crops were conducted using ensembles of the latest generation of crop and climate models. Substantial shifts in global crop productivity due to climate change will occur within the next 20 years-several decades sooner than previous projections-highlighting the need for targeted food system adaptation and risk management in the coming decades.

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