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Climate change impacts and potential benefits of heat-tolerant maize in South Asia

Maize is grown by millions of smallholder farmers in South Asia (SA) under diverse environments. The crop is grown in different seasons in a year with varying exposure to weather extremes, including high temperatures at critical growth stages which are expected to increase with climate change. This study assesses the impact of current and future heat stress on maize and the benefit of heat-tolerant varieties in SA. Annual mean maximum temperatures may increase by 1.4–1.8 °C in 2030 and 2.1–2.6 °C in 2050, with large monthly, seasonal, and spatial variations across SA.

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