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Study by Harvest Partner Examines Maize Yield response to Climate Change

Maize East Africa, Photo:

A study authored by NASA Harvest partner University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) Climate Hazards Group (CHG) member Chris Funk and colleagues Frank Davenport and Gideon Galu, published in the journal Climatic Change looks at how maize yields in Kenya may respond to climate variability. It is titled, "How will East African maize yields respond to climate change and can agricultural development mitigate this response?" County level yields were modeled as a function of rainfall and temperature during a period of increased regional warming and drying (1989–2008). A counter factual analysis then compared existing maize yields from 2000 to 2008 to what yields might have been if observed warming and drying trends had not occurred. The study also examined maize yields based on projected 2026–2040 climate trends. All things being equal, researchers expect Kenyan maize yields to decline as the region becomes warmer and dryer, and also expect these declines to be most pronounced in Eastern Kenya. Under a scenario of aggressive adoption of hybrid seeds and fertilizer usage coupled with warming and drying trends, researchers say yields could increase by 6 percent in Western Kenya and 14 percent in Eastern Kenya.

News Date
Jun 28, 2018