Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version

July 2004


Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 101:27 (July 6, 2004), pp. 9971–9975; doi 10.1073/pnas.0403720101 Copyright © 2004 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Used by permission.


The impact of projected global warming on crop yields has been evaluated by indirect methods using simulation models. Direct studies on the effects of observed climate change on crop growth and yield could provide more accurate information for assessing the impact of climate change on crop production. We analyzed weather data at the International Rice Research Institute Farm from 1979 to 2003 to examine temperature trends and the relationship between rice yield and temperature by using data from irrigated field experiments conducted at the International Rice Research Institute Farm from 1992 to 2003. Here we report that annual mean maximum and minimum temperatures have increased by 0.35°C and 1.13°C, respectively, for the period 1979–2003 and a close linkage between rice grain yield and mean minimum temperature during the dry cropping season (January to April). Grain yield declined by 10% for each 1°C increase in growing-season minimum temperature in the dry season, whereas the effect of maximum temperature on crop yield was insignificant. This report provides a direct evidence of decreased rice yields from increased nighttime temperature associated with global warming.