Yields of maize in France are likely to decrease by more than ten per cent over the next two decades as a result of a warmer climate.
Maize yields are reduced significantly every day that temperatures exceed around 32 degrees Celsius, and the number of days with such high temperatures has doubled in parts of the country over the past 50 years.
It has already been observed that the yields are not increasing as much as before although losses from drought have been reduced through improved irrigation.
Dr Ed Hawkins, at the University of Reading, said:
“We expect hot days to become more frequent still, and our work on maize suggests that current advances in agriculture are too slow to offset the expected damage to crops from heat stress in the future.”
Source: Press release, University of Reading, 14 January 2013