Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Nov. 3, 2014, v111 n46 p16319-16324doi; 10.1073/pnas.1317275111) / by Jennifer Burneya and V. Ramanathan
Rising temperatures because of increased emissions of long-lived greenhouse gases (LLGHGs) have had and will continue to have significant negative impacts on crop yields. However, other climate changes caused by short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) are also significant for agricultural productivity. The SLCPs black carbon and ozone impact temperature, precipitation, radiation, and—in the case of ozone—are directly toxic to plants. To our knowledge, this study provides the first integrated historical examination of the role of both SLCPs and LLGHGs on wheat and rice yields in India, and finds that the majority of losses are attributable to SLCPs. Agricultural cobenefits from SLCP mitigation are expected to be large, and because SLCPs have short atmospheric lifetimes, almost immediate.