Wheat yield loss attributable to heat waves, drought and water excess at the global, national and subnational scales

Heat waves and drought are often considered the most damaging climatic stressors for wheat. In this study, we characterize and attribute the effects of these climate extremes on wheat yield anomalies (at global and national scales) from 1980 to 2010. Using a combination of up-to-date heat wave and drought indexes (the latter capturing both excessively dry and wet conditions), we have developed a composite indicator that is able to capture the spatio-temporal characteristics of the underlying physical processes in the different agro-climatic regions of the world. At the global level, our diagnostic explains a significant portion (more than 40%) of the inter-annual production variability.

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