Summary of Key Findings
Biophysical crop modelling shows that in the absence of adaptation, climate change could substantially lower grain maize and wheat yields in southern Europe, and to a lesser extent grain maize yields in northern Europe.
However, economic modelling shows that production in the EU and UK could still increase slightly due to the interplay of different market forces. This is because the negative effects in Europe are projected to be lower compared to other world regions.
This provides the EU a comparative advantage in terms of climate change impacts on agricultural productivity, which could positively affect its competitiveness.
Figure: Results of the biophysical modelling, showing ensemble mean changes of grain maize yield relative to present (%) for 1.5°C (left panels) and 2°C (right panels) global warming scenarios, assuming fully irrigated conditions (“potential yields”; top panels) or no irrigation in the future (“rain-fed yields”; bottom panels). Hatching denotes areas with low agreement in model responses to global warming.