The Effect of a Half-Century of Warming on China's Irrigated Rice
Sun, W. and Huang, Y. 2011. Global warming over the period 1961-2008 did not increase high-temperature stress but did reduce low-temperature stress in irrigated rice across China. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 151: 1193-1201.
With respect to their findings, the two researchers demonstrated, first of all, that the indices of low- or high-temperature stress can indeed be used to explain the year-to-year changes in rice yield. And their further analyses indicated that "low-temperature stress in the seedling and heading-flowering stages of single[-crop] rice in northeast China, the seedling stage of early rice and the heading-flowering stage of late rice in the double[-crop] rice regions has reduced [i.e., declined] over the period of 1961-2008," while "no significant trends in low-temperature stress were detected during the booting stage." At the other end of the temperature spectrum, they found that "global warming did not enhance high-temperature stress in the heading-flowering stage over the same period, except in early rice in the mid-lower Yangtze River valley, where the high-temperature stress in the 2000s was higher than in previous decades."
As stated in the title of the Chinese scientists' paper, "global warming over the period 1961-2008 did not increase high-temperature stress," but it "did reduce low-temperature stress in irrigated rice across China," which made the warming of that period a net positive influence on irrigated rice production across the country.
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