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RP3 Drought News | CLEX

Research brief: How to incorporate increased vapour pressure deficit into climate models

With projected increases in temperature in the future, the amount of water vapour that can be held at saturation – before it condenses into clouds, dew or water film – increases exponentially. As this deficit increases plants tend to close their stomata, which reduces water fluxes into the boundary layer. Do models currently capture the observed leaf-level response to increasing vapour pressure deficit? What about at very high levels of this deficit?

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Climate extremes explain 18%-43% of global crop yield variations

CLEX researchers and colleagues from Australia, Germany and the US have quantified the effect of climate extremes, such as droughts or heatwaves, on the yield variability of staple crops around
the world. Overall, year-to-year changes in climate factors during the growing season of maize, rice, soy and spring wheat accounted for 20%-49% of yield fluctuations, according to research published in Environmental Research Letters.

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