Rising winter temperatures might augment increasing wheat yield in Gangetic Plains

Mayank Shekhar* (Corresponding Author), Muskan Singh, Shaktiman Singh, Anshuman Bhardwaj, Rupesh Dhyani, Parminder S. Ranhotra, Lydia Sam, Amalava Bhattacharyya

*Corresponding author for this work

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The changing climate poses significant stress on the yield of wheat, which is a major grain crop in Gangetic Plain and therefore on the food security of this densely populated region. Here, we aim to assess the effects of different climate parameters on wheat yield in the last four decades. The redundancy analysis (RDA) shows that the climatic factors could explain up to 35% of the variations in the wheat yield. The negative correlation with precipitation, Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) and Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) in winter months might be associated with extreme wetting that delays the yield during the seeding and late growth stages. We recorded a positive and statistically significant correlation between wheat yield and previous year winter mean temperature. The analysis shows that the increase in temperature during the seedling and the late growth stage may result in maximum yield. The linear relationship with the yield in the study area is statistically significant with temperature rise during 1971–2011. The yield of wheat shows a significant positive relationship with both air temperature and sea surface temperature (SST) during winter months in and around India and over the seas regulating winter climate. This indicates that winter temperature may have a direct role in modulating the yield of wheat in the Gangetic Plain demanding further implications of temperature rise on wheat production in future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531–1544
Number of pages14
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
Early online date21 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

We express our gratitude to Dr. (Mrs.) Vandana Prasad, Director, BSIP, for providing official permission to publish (vide: BSIP/RDCC/Publication no.23/2019-2020) and necessary facilities to carry out this work. PSR and MS acknowledge the in-house Project-8 of Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.


  • Climate change
  • wheat yield
  • food security
  • gangetic plains


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