climate and food workshop: a report

Reginald E. Newell Department of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 02139

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Minoru Tanaka Department of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 02139

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Bijoy Misra Department of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 02139

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We report on a workshop designed to study some of the interrelationships between climate and food production, emphasizing the use of readily available climatological data. Closer monitoring of contemporary climatic events can apparently give a valuable lead to possible expected grain yields in the U.S.S.R., as these are sometimes influenced by blocking highs which tend to exhibit persistence. Rice cultivation in India is strongly influenced by rainfall, whereas in Japan, extensive irrigation has largely eliminated this dependence, and temperature is the governing factor. The workshop findings have prompted us to start more detailed studies of the climate-food interrelationships, from which we hope to assess the value of monitoring current climatic conditions.

We report on a workshop designed to study some of the interrelationships between climate and food production, emphasizing the use of readily available climatological data. Closer monitoring of contemporary climatic events can apparently give a valuable lead to possible expected grain yields in the U.S.S.R., as these are sometimes influenced by blocking highs which tend to exhibit persistence. Rice cultivation in India is strongly influenced by rainfall, whereas in Japan, extensive irrigation has largely eliminated this dependence, and temperature is the governing factor. The workshop findings have prompted us to start more detailed studies of the climate-food interrelationships, from which we hope to assess the value of monitoring current climatic conditions.

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