Articles | Volume 15, issue 7
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 1631–1637, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-15-1631-2015

Special issue: Climate change, extreme events and hazards in the Mediterranean...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 1631–1637, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-15-1631-2015

Research article 28 Jul 2015

Research article | 28 Jul 2015

Early heat waves over Italy and their impacts on durum wheat yields

G. Fontana, A. Toreti, A. Ceglar, and G. De Sanctis G. Fontana et al.
  • European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Ispra (VA), Italy

Abstract. In the last decades the Euro-Mediterranean region has experienced an increase in extreme temperature events such as heat waves. These extreme weather conditions can strongly affect arable crop growth and final yields. Here, early heat waves over Italy from 1995 to 2013 are identified and characterised and their impact on durum wheat yields is investigated. As expected, results confirm the impact of the 2003 heat wave and highlight a high percentage of concurrence of early heat waves and significant negative yield anomalies in 13 out of 39 durum wheat production areas. In south-eastern Italy (the most important area for durum wheat production), the percentage of concurrent events exceeds 80 %.

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Short summary
Extreme weather conditions can strongly affect arable crop growth and final yields. Early heat waves over Italy from 1995 to 2013 are identified and characterised, and their impact on durum wheat yields is investigated. Results confirm the impact of the 2003 heat waves and highlight a high percentage of concurrence of early heat waves and significant negative yield anomalies in 13 out of 39 durum wheat production areas. In the most important area of production this percentage exceeds 80%.
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