Global food insecurity. Treatment of major food crops with elevated carbon dioxide or ozone under large-scale fully open-air conditions suggests recent models may have overestimated future yields

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Abstract

Predictions of yield for the globe's major grain and legume arable crops suggest that, with a moderate temperature increase, production may increase in the temperate zone, but decline in the tropics. In total, global food supply may show little change. This security comes from inclusion of the direct effect of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, [CO2], which significantly stimulates yield by decreasing photorespiration in C3 crops and transpiration in all crops. Evidence for a large response to [CO 2] is largely based on studies made within chambers at small scales, which would be considered unacceptable for standard agronomic trials of new cultivars or agrochemicals. Yet, predictions of the globe's future food security are based on such inadequate information. Free-Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE) technology now allows investigation of the effects of rising [CO 2] and ozone on field crops under fully open-air conditions at an agronomic scale. Experiments with rice, wheat, maize and soybean show smaller increases in yield than anticipated from studies in chambers. Experiments with increased ozone show large yield losses (20%), which are not accounted for in projections of global food security. These findings suggest that current projections of global food security are overoptimistic. The fertilization effect of CO2 is less than that used in many models, while rising ozone will cause large yield losses in the Northern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, FACE studies have been limited in geographical extent and interactive effects of CO2, ozone and temperature have yet to be studied. Without more extensive study of the effects of these changes at an agronomic scale in the open air, our ever-more sophisticated models will continue to have feet of clay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2011-2020
Number of pages10
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume360
Issue number1463
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 29 2005

Fingerprint

Food Supply
Ozone
food crops
food security
ozone
Carbon Dioxide
Crops
carbon dioxide
Food
free air carbon dioxide enrichment
Air
Carbon Monoxide
Food supply
Agrochemicals
Tropics
crops
Transpiration
Temperature
Soybeans
Fertilization

Keywords

  • Atmospheric change
  • Crop production
  • Food security
  • Global change
  • Harvest index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

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title = "Global food insecurity. Treatment of major food crops with elevated carbon dioxide or ozone under large-scale fully open-air conditions suggests recent models may have overestimated future yields",
abstract = "Predictions of yield for the globe's major grain and legume arable crops suggest that, with a moderate temperature increase, production may increase in the temperate zone, but decline in the tropics. In total, global food supply may show little change. This security comes from inclusion of the direct effect of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, [CO2], which significantly stimulates yield by decreasing photorespiration in C3 crops and transpiration in all crops. Evidence for a large response to [CO 2] is largely based on studies made within chambers at small scales, which would be considered unacceptable for standard agronomic trials of new cultivars or agrochemicals. Yet, predictions of the globe's future food security are based on such inadequate information. Free-Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE) technology now allows investigation of the effects of rising [CO 2] and ozone on field crops under fully open-air conditions at an agronomic scale. Experiments with rice, wheat, maize and soybean show smaller increases in yield than anticipated from studies in chambers. Experiments with increased ozone show large yield losses (20{\%}), which are not accounted for in projections of global food security. These findings suggest that current projections of global food security are overoptimistic. The fertilization effect of CO2 is less than that used in many models, while rising ozone will cause large yield losses in the Northern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, FACE studies have been limited in geographical extent and interactive effects of CO2, ozone and temperature have yet to be studied. Without more extensive study of the effects of these changes at an agronomic scale in the open air, our ever-more sophisticated models will continue to have feet of clay.",
keywords = "Atmospheric change, Crop production, Food security, Global change, Harvest index",
author = "Long, {Stephen P} and Elizabeth Ainsworth and Andrew Leakey and Morgan, {Patrick B.}",
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AU - Long, Stephen P

AU - Ainsworth, Elizabeth

AU - Leakey, Andrew

AU - Morgan, Patrick B.

PY - 2005/11/29

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N2 - Predictions of yield for the globe's major grain and legume arable crops suggest that, with a moderate temperature increase, production may increase in the temperate zone, but decline in the tropics. In total, global food supply may show little change. This security comes from inclusion of the direct effect of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, [CO2], which significantly stimulates yield by decreasing photorespiration in C3 crops and transpiration in all crops. Evidence for a large response to [CO 2] is largely based on studies made within chambers at small scales, which would be considered unacceptable for standard agronomic trials of new cultivars or agrochemicals. Yet, predictions of the globe's future food security are based on such inadequate information. Free-Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE) technology now allows investigation of the effects of rising [CO 2] and ozone on field crops under fully open-air conditions at an agronomic scale. Experiments with rice, wheat, maize and soybean show smaller increases in yield than anticipated from studies in chambers. Experiments with increased ozone show large yield losses (20%), which are not accounted for in projections of global food security. These findings suggest that current projections of global food security are overoptimistic. The fertilization effect of CO2 is less than that used in many models, while rising ozone will cause large yield losses in the Northern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, FACE studies have been limited in geographical extent and interactive effects of CO2, ozone and temperature have yet to be studied. Without more extensive study of the effects of these changes at an agronomic scale in the open air, our ever-more sophisticated models will continue to have feet of clay.

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KW - Atmospheric change

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