Research ArticleCLIMATOLOGY

Synchronous crop failures and climate-forced production variability

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Science Advances  03 Jul 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 7, eaaw1976
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw1976
  • Fig. 1 El Niño climate teleconnections in JAS (July, August, September), NDJ (November, December, January), and MAM (March, April, May).

    Partial regression coefficients for the standardized ENSO time expansion coefficients 1 + 2 (A1 * σA1 + A2 * σA2 in Eq. 2) from the multilinear regression analysis. Partial regression coefficients are shown for three stages in the life cycle of an El Niño event: a developing El Niño (A), a mature El Niño (B), and a decaying El Niño (C). Colors are sea surface temperature anomalies (in °C) of the ocean and soil moisture anomalies (in kg/m2) over land; contours are 200-hPa geopotential height anomalies (contours every 5 hPa), and vectors are winds at 925 hPa.

  • Fig. 2 Climate teleconnections for the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), Tropical Atlantic Variability (TAV), and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

    Partial regression coefficients for the standardized IOD, TAV, or NAO time expansion coefficients (Ak * σAk in Eq. 2) on dependent climate variables. IOD coefficients during JAS (A) and NDJ (C). The NAO coefficients for DJF (B) and TAV coefficients during May, June, and July (D). Colors are SST anomalies of the ocean (in °C) and soil moisture anomalies over land (in kg/m2). Contours are 200-hPa geopotential height anomalies (contours every 5 hPa for TAV and IOD and every 15 hPa for NAO), and vectors are winds at 925 hPa.

  • Fig. 3 Local production variance associated with climate modes.

    Harvested area of wheat, maize, and soybean with numbered boxes indicating regions for the variance analysis (A). Percent of national or subnational scale variance in each region for wheat (B), soybean (C), and maize (D) explained by the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation), IOD, TAV, or NAO. The percent values on top of each bar indicate the total variance explained by modes of climate variability (ENSO + TAV + IOD + NAO).

  • Fig. 4 Production variance associated with climate modes at the global scale and disaggregated by production quartile.

    Percent variance explained by each climate mode in the global domain when production variance is measured at the national or subnational scale (“local”) or measured in the globally aggregated time series (“global”) for maize (A), soybean (C), and wheat (E). See Materials and Methods for details. Percent of local variance explained disaggregated by average absolute production (in kg) quartile for maize (B), soybean (D), and wheat (F). Results ordered from lowest-production quartile (q1) to highest-production quartile (q4). Colors refer to variance related to the ENSO, IOD, TAV, or NAO.

  • Fig. 5 Observed and ENSO-forced yield anomalies during the largest synchronous crop failure in modern historical record.

    Observed (A) and ENSO-forced (B) percent crop yield anomalies in 1983, which has been identified (10) as the most extensive synchronous crop failure in modern (after 1960) record, and maize production anomalies (C) by country. Both the spatial pattern and globally aggregated values indicate that ENSO played a major role in forcing synchronous crop failures in 1983. Observed crop yield anomalies are characteristic of an El Niño transitioning to a La Niña, as was the case in 1983 (compare to maize yield anomalies in fig. S1).

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/5/7/eaaw1976/DC1

    Fig. S1. SST and crop yield anomalies during a year transitioning from El Niño to La Niña.

    Fig. S2. SST, geopotential height, and crop yield anomalies associated with the NAO, TAV, and IOD.

    Table S1. Crop production anomalies during a year transitioning from El Niño to La Niña.

    Crop yield anomalies and long-term yield trends for each statistical reporting unit from 1980 to 2010.

  • Supplementary Materials

    The PDF file includes:

    • Fig. S1. SST and crop yield anomalies during a year transitioning from El Niño to La Niña.
    • Fig. S2. SST, geopotential height, and crop yield anomalies associated with the NAO, TAV, and IOD.
    • Table S1. Crop production anomalies during a year transitioning from El Niño to La Niña.

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    Other Supplementary Material for this manuscript includes the following:

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