The effect of climate change on global potato production uri icon

abstract

  • The effect of climate change on global potato production was assessed. Potential yields were calculated with a simulation model and a grid with monthly climate data for current (1961-1990) and projected (2010-2039 and 2040-2069) conditions. The results were mapped and summarized for countries. Between 1961-1990 and 20402069 the global (terrestrial excluding Antarctica) average temperature is predicted to increase between 2.1 and 3.2 C, depending on the climate scenario. The temperature increase is smaller when changes are weighted by the potato area and particularly when adaptation of planting time and cultivars is considered (a predicted temperature increase between 1 and 1.4 C). For this period, global potential potato yield decreases by 18% to 32% (without adaptation) and by 9% to 18% (with adaptation). At high latitudes, global warming will likely lead to changes in the time of planting, the use of later-maturing cultivars, and a shift of the location of potato production. In many of these regions, changes in potato yield are likely to be relatively small, and sometimes positive. Shifting planting time or location is less feasible at lower latitudes, and in these regions global warming could have a strong negative effect on potato production. It is shown that heat-tolerant potato cultivars could be used to mitigate effects of global warming in (sub)tropical regions.

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003