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Potential Global Change Likely to Increase Wheat Production in South Australia
Reyenga, P.J., Howden, S.M., Meinke, H. and Hall, W.B.  2001.  Global change impacts on wheat production along an environmental gradient in south Australia.  Environmental International 27: 195-200.

What was done
The authors ran a cropping system model several times under various scenarios to predict how future climate change may impact wheat production in south Australia.  Among the tested scenarios were atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 700 ppm in combination with warmer temperatures and reduced rainfall.

What was learned
Under most climate change scenarios, cropping range expanded northward due to the "carbon dioxide fertilization effect," which opened up more than 240,000 ha for wheat production.  In addition, elevated CO2 increased yields by 13% to 52%, with the greater responses occurring in combination with drier climates, most likely the result of CO2-induced enhancements of water-use efficiency.

What it means
As the air's CO2 content rises, wheat production in south Australia will likely benefit from increases in yield and land area suitable for growing this important crop.  Thus, grain production should increase with future increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration, even under conditions of higher temperatures and reduced soil moisture, due to CO2-induced increases in plant thermal tolerance and water-use efficiency.