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Climate Change, Empirical models, RCP8.5, Yield, Food Security, Crop production
This study aims to improve the understanding of the impact changes being experienced in our climate system will have on the level of crop productivity in the immediate period as well as in the nearest future. Nigeria was used as a case study and an observed climatic dataset was obtained and used alongside collected 20 year cassava, rice and soybean yield data to develop models that were applied to estimate future crop yield. Four statistically downscaled and bias-corrected Global Climate Models (GCMs): NOAA, MIROC5, ICHEC, and NCC performed simulations for the period 1985–2100 under the Representative Concentration Pathway RCP8.5. These were used to predict how the yields of cassava, rice and soybean will be in the years 2020-2050 and 2070-2100 for the 36 states in Nigeria and the FCT. 89 Empirical models were developed to estimate the yields of the three crops earlier mentioned across Nigeria with their coefficient of determination (R2) ranging between 15% - 99%. The result showed an increase of 3.91% (P<0.001), 0.08, 1.79 (P<0.1) and a decrease of 0.93% for cassava yield for ICHEC, MIROC, NOAA and NCC respectively. It also projected an increase in yield of 8.88% (P<0.001), 7.77% (P<0.001), 6.62% (P<0.001) and 8.85% (P<0.001) for Rice yield using climatic data from ICHEC, MIROC, NOAA and NCC respectively. Soybean, increase in yield are 2.81% (P<0.01), 5.84% (P<0.001), 11.38 (P<0.001) and 9.06% (P<0.001) for ICHEC, MIROC, NOAA and NCC respectively.