Press Releases

Impacts of climate change on the forecasting of crop yields – University of Reading

Release Date : 12 February 2004

How weather affects food production – from the impacts of climate change to the forecasting of crop yields - will be discussed at a Royal Meteorological Society meeting on Wednesday 18 February. Speakers at the meeting, which has been organised by Dr Tim Wheeler of the University of Reading's Department of Agriculture, will discuss the effects of weather and climate on agriculture. Dr Mike Dennett of the University of Reading will open the meeting with a talk outlining the relationships between weather and crops, from both an historical and current viewpoint. Dr Andrew Challinor of the University of Reading will present a novel combined weather and crop forecasting system. Such crop forecasts build on recent improvements in long-term weather forecasting and could enable planning decisions to be made weeks or months ahead of the harvest of the crop. The potential impacts of human-induced climate change on our food production systems are of major importance to society. Three talks describe current research on climate change impacts. Dr Robin Matthews of Cranfield University considers the challenges for global rice production. Dr Keith Weatherhead and Dr Jerry Knox of Cranfield University examine the consequences for the demand for irrigation water in the UK. Professor Martin Parry, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group II, discusses the broad issues concerned with food supply and the risk of hunger. The full list of topics and speakers at the meeting is: Establishing meaningful relationships Dr Mike Dennett, University of Reading. Rice and global climate change: victim or culprit Dr Robin Matthews, Cranfield University. The development of combined weather and crop productivity forecasting systems for the tropics Dr Andrew Challinor, University of Reading. Assessing the impacts of climate change on soil moisture and irrigation demand in England and Wales Dr Keith Weatherhead and Dr Jerry Knox, Cranfield University. Climate change, food supply and risk of hunger Prof Martin Parry (Chair IPCC working group II). End Notes for Editors -The meeting takes place on Wednesday 18 February at 2.00 pm in the Zoological Society of London Meeting Rooms, London Zoo, Regent's Park. -Any journalists wishing to attend should contact Mark Best at London Zoo. Tel: 020 7449 6260, e-mail: -For more information about the Royal Meteorological Society and its regular Wednesday Meetings, go to


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