Climate change and global yield potential

Yesterday I posted about map projections, and today in class we talked about global trends in agricultural productivity/yield as a motivation for learning about plant breeding. Since productivity is considered on a yield per land area basis, it makes sense to use a map projection that preserves relative size of land masses. Note that I don’t know precisely what projection they used here, but it’s pretty clearly not the Mercator projection we’re used to.

wrr_climate_change

Imagine what a different story this would tell if it were presented using a polar projection or a Mercator projection. The vast majority of the map would in the green, showing increased yield potential, even though most land area in the world would be in the red. Choose a map projection that makes your data easier to interpret!

Shout out to Dr. McHale for sharing the cool map! World Resources Institute has all sorts of maps and charts about the environment– I definitely recommend checking out their website.

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