From available data, we also found that crop yields increased from 1960 to 2010 in the south of Siberia. This crop increase may be associated with stable positive trends in both summer and winter temperatures that prolonged the growing season by up to one month for 50 years. Crop yields decreased only across regions where the climate became drier.

We also developed crop range and production models, and predict that traditional Siberian crops – grain, potato and maize for silage – may increase by twofold and could gradually shift northwards by about 50–70 km per decade as the climate warms. New crops – maize for grain, sunflower for seed, melons, gourds, fruits and berries – could be introduced in the far south depending on winter conditions, but these would require irrigation in the drier climate. However, thanks to the great Siberian rivers – the Ob, Yenisei and Lena – with their numerous tributaries, southern Siberia could be irrigated easily. Farming these new crops would be cheaper too since they would not need to be imported.

We believe that adapting to the potential negative, and positive, effects of climate warming would promote the stable development and well-being of southern Siberia. Our short-term goal is now to create software that can be applied to local agricultural regions to develop strategies for testing and introducing new crops in a warmer future.