Increase in crop losses to insect pests in a warming climate


Insect pests substantially reduce yields of three staple grains—rice, maize, and wheat—but models assessing the agricultural impacts of global warming rarely consider crop losses to insects. We use established relationships between temperature and the population growth and metabolic rates of insects to estimate how and where climate warming will augment losses of rice, maize, and wheat to insects. Global yield losses of these grains are projected to increase by 10 to 25% per degree of global mean surface warming. Crop losses will be most acute in areas where warming increases both population growth and metabolic rates of insects. These conditions are centered primarily in temperate regions, where most grain is produced.


OK, I’m scared.

“The authors’ models show that for the three most important grain crops—wheat, rice, and maize—yield lost to insects will increase by 10 to 25% per degree Celsius of warming, hitting hardest in the temperate zone.”

Looks like my Apples are doomed! Higher temperatures should produce more disease problems too.


Your apples are fine; if they grow in Congo with zero chill, they can tolerate a few degrees of warming.


I’m amazed they can grow apples in that climate. I hope they continue to do well.

I’m not sure if any academic research has examined the impact of climate change on apple growing in the US, but my gut tells me it is becoming more difficult. Just about every commercial apple grower in NC or VA that I have spoken with indicated that growing apples is harder now than 10 or 20 years ago due to more or new insects and more disease pressure.

More frequent fungicide applications would improve my success, but I’m not willing to spray every 3-5 days.


So far as I can tell the climate has been ‘changing’ as long as man has been making records.

Eric the Red farmed on “Greenland” which should properly be called “ICELAND” like the little Island nation with that name. But 100 years later it got so cold the colony collapsed and / or was abandoned.

In 1896…frost in July in Chicago area.

July 1980 and August 2008…temps hit 104 in Southern Kentucky. But, it’s been above 93 once I think in 2018.

One of our wettest years on record, and temps below normal all year (except February).


The name Greenland comes from Scandinavian settlers. In the Norse sagas, it is said that Erik the Red was exiled from Iceland for murder. He set out in ships to find land rumoured to be to the northwest. After settling there, he named the land Grfnland (Greenland), possibly to attract more people to settle there.