UMD Collaborates to Quantify How Climate Change Has Slowed Agricultural Productivity Growth Worldwide

Research shows more severe slowdowns in warmer regions like Africa and Latin America.

Image Credit: Edwin Remsberg

April 5, 2021 Samantha Watters

The University of Maryland (UMD) collaborated with Cornell University and Stanford University to quantify the man-made effects of climate change on global agricultural productivity growth for the first time. In a new study published in Nature Climate Change, researchers developed a robust model of weather effects on productivity, looking at productivity in both the presence and absence of climate change. Results indicate a 21% reduction in global agricultural productivity since 1961, which according to researchers is equivalent to completely losing the last 7 years of productivity growth. This work suggests that global agriculture is becoming more and more vulnerable to ongoing climate change effects, with warmer regions like Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean being hit the hardest.

Learn More