Crop-specific exposure to extreme temperature and moisture for the globe for the last half century

Nicole D Jackson, Megan Konar, Peter Debaere, Justin Sheffield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Global assessments of climate extremes typically do not account for the unique characteristics of individual crops. A consistent definition of the exposure of specific crops to extreme weather would enable agriculturally-relevant hazard quantification. To this end, we develop a database of both the temperature and moisture extremes facing individual crops by explicitly accounting for crop characteristics. To do this, we collate crop-specific temperature and moisture parameters from the agronomy literature, which are then combined with time-varying crop locations and high-resolution climate information to quantify crop-specific exposure to extreme weather. Specifically, we estimate crop-specific temperature and moisture shocks during the growing season for a 0.25° spatial grid and daily time scale from 1961 to 2014 globally. We call this the Agriculturally-Relevant Exposure to Shocks (ARES) model and make all ARES output available with this paper. Our crop-specific approach leads to a smaller average value of the exposure rate and spatial extent than does a crop-agnostic approach. Of the 17 crops included in this study, 13 had an increase in exposure to extreme heat, while 9 were more exposed to extreme cold over the past half century. All crops in this study show a statistically significant increase in exposure to both extreme wetness and dryness. Cassava, sunflowers, soybeans, and oats had the greatest increase in hot, cold, dry, and wet exposure, respectively. We compare ARES model results with the EM-DAT disaster database. Our results highlight the importance of crop-specific characteristics in defining weather shocks in agriculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064006
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • crop-specific
  • global
  • gridded
  • moisture
  • temperature
  • time series
  • weather extremes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • General Environmental Science
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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