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Primary Discipline

Social Sciences


The global food supply depends on agricultural production, but as the negative effects of climate change are exacerbated by human activity, how will agriculture need to change to accommodate both climate change and the increasing population? In order to understand what adaptations will be necessary, we perform analysis on the relationship between climate change (temperature and precipitation) and crop yields (barley, rice, and soybean). We take a multinational approach, using ten countries for each model, to see the global impact of climate change on production. Testing many models, we settle on country-specific time trends, eliminating many confounding variables by focusing on climate’s effect on variations from the trend. For all three crops, the analysis shows that temperature has a significant effect on output while precipitation has a negligible effect. The models account for upwards of 96% of the variation from the trend for each crop on a year-by-year basis. In a similar way to how irrigation has altered agriculture's reliance on natural water supplies, we now need to focus on developing technology to counteract the effects of increasing temperatures on crop growth.