CR 11:19-30 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/cr011019

Effects of global climate change on agriculture: an interpretative review

Richard M. Adams1,*, Brian H. Hurd2, Stephanie Lenhart2, Neil Leary3

1Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA
2Hagler, Bailly, Inc., Boulder, Colorado 80306, USA
3U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460, USA

ABSTRACT: Climate is the primary determinant of agricultural productivity. Concern over the potential effects of long-term climatic change on agriculture has motivated a substantial body of research over the past decade. This body of research addresses possible physical effects of climatic change on agriculture, such as changes in crop and livestock yields, as well as the economic consequences of these potential yield changes. This paper reviews the extant literature on these physical and economic effects and interprets this research in terms of common themes or findings. Of particular interest are findings concerning the role of human adaptations in responding to climate change, possible regional impacts to agricultural systems and potential changes in patterns of food production and prices. Limitations and sensitivities of these findings are discussed and key areas of uncertainty are highlighted. Finally, some speculations regarding issues of potential importance in interpreting and using information on climate change and agriculture are presented.

KEY WORDS: Climate change · Agriculture · Economic consequences · Regional effects · Adaptations · Uncertainty

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