Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 113–123 | Cite as

Climate change, adaptation, and agricultural output

  • Patrick M. Regan
  • Hyun KimEmail author
  • Emily Maiden
Original Article


Recent studies have estimated that climate-generated extreme weather disasters have reduced crop yields globally by up to 10%. By incorporating indicators of adaptive capacity and sensitivity, we develop empirical models of the relationship between extreme weather disasters and agricultural output between 1995 and 2010. Using panel data models, we find that the greater the adaptive capacity of a country, the more attenuated are the expected agricultural losses from extreme weather disasters. In effect, climate-related agricultural consequences vary as a function of the heterogeneity across countries. Much of this heterogeneity in adaptive capacity is a result of policy choices about structural preparedness. Our results allow us to draw inferences about crop yields under different levels of adaptive capacity in the context of climate change.


Adaptive capacity Climate change adaptation Crop yields Extreme weather disasters Sensitivity 


  1. Adger WN (2006) Vulnerability. Glob Environ Chang 16(3):268–281. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adger WN, Arnell NW, Tompkins EL (2005) Successful adaptation to climate change across scales. Glob Environ Chang 15:77–86. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Altizer S, Ostfeld R, Johnson P, Kutz S, Harvell CD (2013) Climate change and infectious diseases: from evidence to a predictive framework. Science 341:514–519. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Araos M, Ford J, Berrang-Ford L, Biesbroek R, Moser S (2017) Climate change adaptation planning for global south megacities: the case of Dhaka. J Environ Policy Plan 19:682–696. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brooks N, Adger WN, Kelly PM (2005) The determinants of vulnerability and adaptive capacity at the national level and the implications for adaptation. Glob Environ Chang 15:151–163. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caruso R, Petrarca I, Ricciuti R (2016) Climate change, rice crops, and violence: evidence from Indonesia. J Peace Res 53:66–83. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen C, Noble I, Hellmann J, Coffee J, Murillo M, Chawla N (2016) University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index Country Index Technical Report. Accessed 19 September 2016.
  8. Chen C, Hellmann J, Berrang-Ford L, Noble I, Regan PM (2018) A global assessment of adaptation investment from the perspectives of equity and efficiency. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Chang 23:101–122. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ciais PH, Reichstein M, Viovy N, Granier A, Ogée j, Allard V, Aubinet M, Buchmann N, Bernhofer Chr, Carrara A, Chevallier F, De Noblet N, Friend AD, Friedlingstein P, Grünwald T, Heinesch B, Keronen P, Knohl A, Krinner G, Loustau D, Manca G, Matteucci G, Miglietta F, Ourcival JM, Papale D, Pilegaard K, Rambal S, Seufert G, Soussana JF, Sanz MJ, Schulze ED, Vesala R, Valentini T (2005) Europe-wide reduction in primary productivity caused by the heat and drought in 2003. Nature 437:529–533.
  10. Cinner JE, Huchery C, Hicks CC, Daw TM, Marshall N, Wamukota A, Allison EH (2015) Changes in adaptive capacity of Kenyan fishing communities. Nat Clim Chang 5:872–876. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Deryng D, Conway D, Ramankutty N, Price J, Warren R (2014) Global crop yield response to extreme heat stress under multiple climate change futures. Environ Res Lett 9:041001. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dow K, Berkhout F, Preston BL (2013) Limits to adaptation to climate change: a risk approach. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 5:384–391. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dunlap RE, Brulle RJ (2015) Climate change and society: sociological perspectives. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Eakin HC, Lemos MC (2006) Adaptation and the state: Latin America and the challenge of capacity-building under globalization. Glob Environ Chang 16:7–18. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Elliott J, Deryng D, Műller C, Frieler K, Konzmann M, Gerten D, Glotter M, Flörke M, Wada Y, Best N, Eisner S, Fekete BM, Folberth C, Foster I, Gosling SN, Haddeland I, Khabarov N, Ludwig F, Masaki Y, Olin S, Rosenzweig C, Ruane AC, Satoh Y, Schmid E, Stacke T, Tang Q, Wisser D (2013) Constraints and potentials of future irrigation water availability on agricultural production under climate change. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(9):3239–3244. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Epule TE, Ford JD, Lwasa S, Lepage L (2017a) Vulnerability of maize yields to droughts in Uganda. Water 9(3):181. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Epule TE, Ford JD, Lwasa S (2017b) Projections of maize yield vulnerability to droughts and adaptation options in Uganda. Land Use Policy 65:154–163. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ewert F (2012) Adaptation: opportunities in climate change? Nat Clim Chang 2:153–154. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ford JD, King D (2015) A framework for examining adaptation readiness. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Chang 20(4):505–526. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fűssel HM, Klein RIT (2006) Climate change vulnerability assessments: an evolution of conceptual thinking. Clim Chang 75:301–329. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Garibaldi L, Aizen MA, Klein AM, Cunningham SA, Harder LD (2010) Global growth and stability of agricultural yields decrease with pollinator dependence. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108:5909–5914. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Haddad BM (2005) Ranking the adaptive capacity of nations to climate change when socio-political goals are explicit. Glob Environ Chang 15:165–176. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hsiang SM, Burke M, Miguel E (2013) Quantifying the influence of climate on human conflict. Science 341:1212. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. IPCC (2007) Appendix I: Glossary. In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (eds) Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp 869–884 (Appendix 1)Google Scholar
  25. Jørgensen SL, Termansen M (2016) Linking climate change perceptions to adaptation and mitigation action. Clim Chang 138:283–296. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lesk C, Rowhani P, Ramankutty N (2016) Influence of extreme weather disasters on global crop production. Nature 529:84–97. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Liang X-Z, Wu Y, Chambers RG, Schmoldt DL, Gao W, Liu C, Liu Y-A, Sun C, Kennedy JA (2017) Determining climate effects on US total agricultural productivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114(12):E2285–E2292. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Liangzhi Y, Ringler C, Nelson G, Wood-Sichra U, Robertson R, Wood S, Guo Z, Zhu T, Sun Y (2011) What is the irrigation potential for Africa? A combined biophysical and socioeconomic approach. Food Policy 36:770–782. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lim B, Spanger-Siegfried E (2005) Adaptation policy frameworks for climate change: developing strategies, policies and measures. United Nations Development Programme, Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  30. Mallya G, Zhao L, Song XC, Niyogi D, Govindaraju RS (2013) 2012 Midwest drought in the United States. J Hydrol Eng 18:737–745. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Miguel E, Satyanath S, Sergenti E (2004) Economic shocks and civil conflict: an instrumental variables approach. J Polit Econ 112:725–753CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mimura N, Pulwarty RS, Duc DM, Elshinnawy I, Redsteer MH, Huang HQ, Nkem JN, Sanchez Rodriguez RA (2014) Adaptation planning and implementation. In: Field CB, Barros VR, Dokken DJ, Mach KJ, Mastrandrea MD, Bilir TE, Chatterjee M, Ebi KL, Estrada YO, Genova RC, Girma B, Kissel ES, Levy AN, MacCracken S, Mastrandrea PR, White LL (eds) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA, pp 869–898 (Chapter 15)Google Scholar
  33. Moriondo M, Giannakopoulos C, Bindi M (2011) Climate change impact assessment: the role of climate extremes in crop yield simulation. Clim Chang 104:679–701. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Moser SC, Boykoff MT (2013) Successful adaptation to climate change: linking science and policy in a rapidly changing world. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Moser SC, Ekstrom JA, Kasperson RE (2010) A framework to diagnose barriers to climate change adaptation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107:22026–22031. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Muccione V, Allen SK, Huggel C, Birkmann J (2017) Differentiating regions for adaptation financing: the role of global vulnerability and risk distributions. WIREs Clim Change 8:e447. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ostfeld R (2009) Climate change and the distribution and intensity of infectious diseases. Ecology 90:903–905.
  38. Porter JR, Xie L, Challinor AJ, Cochrane K, Howden SM, Iqbal MM, Lobell DB, Travasso MI (2014) Food security and food production systems. In: Field CB, Barros VR, Dokken DJ, Mach KJ, Mastrandrea MD, Bilir TE, Chatterjee M, Ebi KL, Estrada YO, Genova RC, Girma B, Kissel ES, Levy AN, MacCracken S, Mastrandrea PR, White LL (eds) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: global and sectoral aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA, pp 485–553 (Chapter 7)Google Scholar
  39. Potts R (2012) Evolution and environmental change in early human prehistory. Annu Rev Anthropol 41:151–167. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pryor SC, Barthelmie RJ (2013) The Midwestern United States: socioeconomic context and physical climate. In: Pryor SC (ed) Climate change in the Midwest: impacts, risks, vulnerability, and adaptation. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, pp 12–47Google Scholar
  41. Schlenker W, Roberts MJ (2009) Nonlinear temperature effects indicate severe damages to US crop yields under climate change. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:15594–15598. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schneider S, Sarukhan J, Adejuwon J, Azar C, Baethgen W, Hope C, Moss R, Leary N, Richels R, Van Ypersele JP (2001) Overview of Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability to Climate Change. In: McCarthy JJ, Canziani OF, Leary NA, Dokken DJ, White KS (eds.) Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp 75–103Google Scholar
  43. Smit B, Skinner M (2002) Adaptation options in agriculture to climate change: a typology. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Chang 7:85–114. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Smit B, Wandel J (2006) Adaptation, adaptive capacity and vulnerability. Glob Environ Chang 16:282–292. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Smit B, Burton I, Klein RJT, Street R (1999) The science of adaptation: a framework for assessment. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Chang 4:199–213. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (1992) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: Text, Geneva, World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Program. Accessed 20 November 2016
  47. Wang J, Wang E, Yang X, Zhang F, Yin H (2012) Increased yield potential of wheat–maize cropping system in the North China Plain by climate change adaptation. Clim Chang 113:825–840. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wheeler T, Von Braun J (2013) Climate change impacts on global food security. Science 341:508–513. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wiréhn L, Opach T, Neset TS (2017) Assessing agricultural vulnerability to climate change in the Nordic countries: an interactive geovisualization approach. J Environ Plan Manag 60(1):115–134. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Woodruff S, Regan PM (2018) Quality of national adaptation plans and opportunities for improvement. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Chang.
  51. Wooldridge JM (2006) Introductory econometrics: a modern approach. Thomson, South-WesternGoogle Scholar
  52. Yohe G, Tol RSJ (2002) Indicators for social and economic coping capacity: moving toward a working definition of adaptive capacity. Glob Environ Chang 12:25–40. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA
  2. 2.Notre Dame Global Adaptation InitiativeUniversity of Notre DameSouth BendUSA
  3. 3.Kroc Institute for International Peace StudiesUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

Personalised recommendations