Carbon Dioxide and Agricultural Yield: An Assemblage and Analysis of 430 Prior Observations

Author: Kimball, B. A.

Description: The probable effect of the increasing global atmospheric CO2 concentration on agricultural yields was evaluated. More than 430 observations of the yield of 37 species grown with CO2 enrichment were extracted from more than 70 reports published during the past 64 years. Most of the studies were performed in greenhouses or growth chambers. Open fields might respond less than greenhouses or growth chambers to increased CO2 because nutrient levels in general world-wide agriculture are lower than those in the indoor studies, or open fields might respond more because light levels are generally higher outside. The data also were dominated by high value crops, but results should be applicable to the three-fourths of the world agriculture represented by the C3 crops and possibly to the remaining C4 crops as well. Keeping these limitations of the data in mind, the analysis showed that yields probably will increase by 33% (with a 99.9% confidence interval from 24 to 43%) with a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Subject headings: Carbon dioxide; CO2; Climate change; Agriculture; Crop yields

Publication year: 1983

Journal or book title: Agronomy Journal

Volume: 75

Pages: 779-788

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Serial number: 3688

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