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July 23 2013

Climate forecasts shown to warn of crop failures


Climate data can help predict some crop failures several months before harvest, according to a new study from an international team, including a research scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Scientists found that in about one-third of global cropland, temperature and soil moisture have strong relationships to the yield of wheat and rice at harvest. For those two key crops, a computer model could predict crop failures three months in advance for about 20 percent of global cropland, according to the study, published July 21 in Nature Climate Change.

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