Essays in Agricultural Economics: Global Warming, Carbon Dioxide, and Productivity




McLachlan, Brennan A.

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Climate change has sparked growing interest in the relationship between food security and our climate systems. Crop productivity is tightly correlated with fluctuating temperatures, carbon dioxide (CO2), and rainfall. The purpose of this research is to examine the quantitative relationship between these factors to better understand the magnitude of global systematic risk. Econometric models are constructed for three different contexts: a global analysis of country-level crop yields is explored using a fixed-effects panel regression model; a meta-analysis of farm-level experiments exposed to varying levels of CO2 and temperatures; and a regional analysis of Saskatchewan rural municipalities using a spatial dataset of historical weather data. In summary, reduced yields occur beyond peak thresholds of temperature and rising CO2 will lead to substantial increases in yield potential and reduced water use. These relationships vary in magnitude across crop species, but the underlying direction of the relationships are the same. This research improves upon previous methods in the literature, explores novel datasets, and contributes to the estimation of climate impacts in agriculture.



Climate Change, Agriculture, Global Warming