Crop yields in temperate and tropical regions stand to slow down in the face of global warming, even at just a rise of 2°C, a study showed.
Moreover, the research from the University of Leeds, published in Nature Climate Change, said the deceleration in crop yields could be felt as early as in the years 2030s.
"Our research shows that crop yields will be negatively affected by climate change much earlier than expected," Professor Andy Challinor of the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds and lead author of the study said in a statement. "Furthermore, the impact of climate change on crops will vary both from year-to-year and from place-to-place - with the variability becoming greater as the weather becomes increasingly erratic."
Some of the countries in the temperate regions include North America, most of Northern Mexico, Great Britain, Northern Asia, Southern Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and also South America. While countries in tropical regions include Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Kiribati, Palau, Peru, Bolovia and Brazil, among others.
The study combined and compared results from 1,700 published assessments of the impact of climate change on rice, maize and wheat yields.
Mr Challinor said they saw a shift in consensus, revealing that the impacts of climate change in temperate regions "will happen sooner rather than later."
"The overall picture remains negative, and we are now starting to see how research can support adaptation by avoiding the worse impacts."
Despite the adaptation techniques employed by farmers to mitigate the effects of climate change, "climate change means a less predictable harvest, with different countries winning and losing in different years," he said.
Greater agricultural transformations and innovations are needed if the world wants to ensure and safeguard crop yields for future generations, Mr Challinor said.