Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting China.

Impacts Agriculture

China’s Second National Communication to the UNFCCC (2012) reports climate change impacts are already being experienced by the agricultural sector. Wheat and corn yields have declined 5% between 1980 and 2010 with the highest decreases (10%) experienced in the Loess Plateau region of North-central China. While future yield declines are expected to be partially mitigated by rises in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, the net change is still expected to be negative for crops such as rice which are key to national food security. The most vulnerable regions of China are believed to be those termed ‘agricultural-pastoral transition zones’ in central and northern China, these regions experience low annual precipitation rates (around 400mm/year). Many such regions have experienced land degradation and desertification but the extent to which these processes link to climate and human development practices is complex. Climatic factors contributing to agricultural productivity declines include the increased variability of water resource availability and intensification of extremes of resulting in flood and drought.

This section provides insights into the climate change impacts on agricultural productivity indicators and the trends in agriculture related socio-economic indicators.


Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals. 

This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.

% change of crop yield projections
< -60% > 80%
« Click on the map to view site-specific crop data.