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Dwindling snow cover increases risk of frost for winter wheat

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Frostbedecktes Feld

Global warming is expected to have beneficial impacts on overwintering crops in cool and temperate regions of the world. Now, statistical analysis that combines different sources of historical yield and meteorological data reveals that decreases in snowpack insulation partly reduce yield benefits of winter wheat.

This is the conclusion reached by ZALF scientist Prof. Kurt Christian Kersebaum in his article in the "News & Views" category of the journal Nature Climate Change. The focus of previous research has been primarily on the effects of heat and drought on arable crops. The paper emphasizes the relevance and necessity to better capture winter processes in process-based modelling for climate impact assessment. This includes the decline in snow cover, as a result of which arable soils and crops are less protected from frost, thus partly reducing expected yield benefits of winter crops.


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