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The effects of climate variations on winter cereal production in Spain

Journal: Climate Research
Year: 2007   Volume: 34
Initial page: 223   Last page: 232
Status: Published
PDF file: 2007_rodriguez_CR.pdf
DOI: 10.3354/cr00700
Rodríguez-Puebla, C., Ayuso, S. M., , García-Casado, L.A.

Climate variables responsible for inter-annual variations in the winter cereal yield in
Spain were identified and climate information was translated into crop production. Empirical orthogonal
functions and correlation analyses were applied to regional and large-scale climate variables
to ascertain the links between climate and winter cereal yield. Interactions between climate and
winter cereal productivity in Spain can be summarized as follows: the start of the growing season
depends on minimum temperature, and crop maturity is affected by drought, maximum temperature,
sea-level air pressure, moisture fluxes, and the jet stream, as well as by indices of the Scandinavian
Pattern, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the Southern Oscillation. A statistical approach has been
derived to describe variability in cereal productivity in Spain taking into account the previous potential
predictors. In general, the best atmospheric conditions for increasing winter cereal productivity in
Spain are warmer winters, cooler and wet springs, with prevalent meridional circulation at upper
levels. The observed trend of increasing sea level pressure toward the western Mediterranean could
cause a loss in the winter cereal yield.