Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Global warming affecting rice yields

In an article published in the US journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers have concluded that dramatic rises in night time temperatures are decreasing rice yields in Asia.

A group of scientists from two universities in the United States, the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently published the results of a study begun in the 1990s and conducted in over 220 rice farms in China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

According to the findings, rising temperatures have caused a decrease in rice yields of between 10 and 20 percent in certain parts of Asia.

"It's not perfectly clear the mechanism which causes this," explained one of the researchers Jarrod Welch.

"One hypothesis is that warmer temperatures increase respiration in the rice plant, which consumes energy. If these warmer temperatures occur at night time, there is no offsetting of the synthesis. So, warmer temperatures mean increased respiration, increased energy consumption in the rice plant. But synthesis is not occurring to replace that energy."

To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5935846,00.html

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