Climate change impacts on European crop production – New HFFA Research Paper

Drought. Water stress. Extreme weather events.

How does climate change impact agriculture in Europe?


This summer news on extreme weather events is ubiquitous. Central Europe experienced unprecedented dry spells and heat waves leading to stress for humans and also agricultural crops. This raises the following question:


What are the climate change impacts on crop production in Europe?


You can find the answer to this questions in our latest research paper where we explore the already observed climate change impacts and those that are projected in the future.

The paper was written by a team from HFFA Research and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK): Sophia Lüttringhaus, Steffen Noleppa, Christoph Gornott and Hermann Lotze-Campen provide an overview on climate change impacts.

Climate change manifests itself in rising temperatures as well as structural changes in precipitation patterns and overall water availability. The climate has already changed in Europe and worldwide and the consequences are diverse impacts over time and space. Global annual near-surface temperature has increased by nearly 1 °C during the recent decades as compared to preindustrial levels. The latest decade has been the warmest on record.

Due to declining water availability and increasing temperatures, yields will decrease in many European regions. Furthermore, crop suitability changes within Europe; for example, maize production expands northwards. Since the 1990’s the growing season length has already expanded by 10 days and crops’ development changed due to climate change, seen for example by earlier flowering dates. Additionally, habitat shifts of weeds, pests and diseases also impact European agriculture, putting further pressure on the agricultural system.

The executive summary of this study can be downloaded below.

For access to the full version, please contact us.