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Impacts of Climate Change and Extreme Weather on US Agricultural Productivity

Impacts of Climate Change and Extreme Weather on US Agricultural Productivity

Evidence and Projection

Chapter:
(p.41) 2 Impacts of Climate Change and Extreme Weather on US Agricultural Productivity
Source:
Agricultural Productivity and Producer Behavior
Author(s):
Sun Ling WangEldon WallRichard NehringRyan WilliamsTruong Chau
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226619941.003.0002

Under climate change, the average daily temperature and frequency of extreme weather are expected to increase in the United States. We employ a stochastic frontier approach to examine how these conditions affect U.S. agricultural productivity using 1940-1970 historical weather data (mean and variation) as the norm. We have four major findings. First, using a temperature humidity index (THI) load and an Oury index for the period 1960-2010 we find each state has experienced different patterns of climate change in the past half century, with some states experiencing drier and warmer conditions than others. Second, higher THI loads (more heat waves) and lower Oury indexes (much drier) tend to lower a state’s productivity. Third, the impacts of THI load shock and Oury index shock variables (deviations from historical norm fluctuations) on productivity are more robust than the level of THI and Oury index variables across specifications. Fourth, we project potential impacts of climate change and extreme weather on U.S. regional productivity based on the estimates. We find the same degree changes in temperature or precipitation will have uneven impacts on regional productivities, with Delta, Northeast, and Southeast regions incurring greater effects than other regions, using 2000-2010 as the reference period.

Keywords:   U.S. agricultural productivity, technical inefficiency, stochastic frontier, climate change, extreme weather, THI load, Oury index

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