Zampieri, M., Toreti, A., Ceglar, A., Naumann, G., Turco, M., & Tebaldi, C. (2020). Climate resilience of the top ten wheat producers in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Regional Environmental Change, 20, 41. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-020-01622-9
Wheat is the main staple crop and an important commodity in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. These are among the few areas in the world where the climate is suitable for growing durum wheat but also are among the most rapidly warming ones, according to the available scenarios of climate projections. How much food security and market stability in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, both depending on wheat production and its interannual variability, are going to be compromised by global warming is an overarching question. To contribute in addressing it, we use a recently established indicator to quantify crop production climate resilience. We present a methodological framework allowing to compute the annual production resilience indicator from nonstationary time series. We apply this approach on the wheat production of the 10 most important producers in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Our findings shows that if no adaptation will take place, wheat production reliability in the Mediterranean and the Middle East will be threatened by climate change already at 1.5 °C global warming. Average climate-related wheat production losses will exceed the worst past event even if the 2 °C mitigation target is met. These results call for urgent action on adaptation to climate change and support further efforts for mitigation, fully consistently with the Paris Agreement recommendations.