Midwest Agriculture Increasingly Vulnerable to Climate Change

A Cornell-led study published in Science Advances took a big-picture look at regional agricultural vulnerability to climate change, and found the Midwest increasingly at risk. A study of how agricultural inputs converted to outputs over the past 50 years, when combined with climate data, showed that rising summer temperatures are causing productivity to drop. The Midwest is especially sensitive to temperature rises that are occurring with increasing frequency because of its dependence on rainfall-fed crops and the increasing specialization of producers in the region. “[T]hey’re basically putting all their eggs in one basket, and that basket is getting more sensitive,” noted study leader Ariel Ortiz-Bobea.