The impacts of climate change on agricultural production systems in China

Ju H, van der Velde M, Lin E, Xiong W, & Li Y (2013). The impacts of climate change on agricultural production systems in China. Climatic Change 120 (1): 313-324. DOI:10.1007/s10584-013-0803-7.

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Abstract

Climate change can bring positive and negative effects on Chinese agriculture, but negative impacts tend to dominate. The annual mean surface temperature has risen about 0.5-0.8 degrees C. The precipitation trends have not been identified during the past 100 years in China, although the frequency and intensity of extreme weather/climate events have increased, especially of drought. Water scarcity, more frequent and serious outbreaks of insects and diseases, and soil degradation caused by climate change have impacted agro-environmental conditions. However, temperature rise prolonged the crop growth seasons and cold damages have reduced in Northeast China. The projection of climate change indicates that the surface temperature will continue to increase with about 3.9 to 6.0 degrees C and precipitation is expected to increase by 9 to 11 % at the end of 21st century in China. Climate warming will provide more heat and as a consequence, the boundary of the triple- cropping system (TCS) will extend northwards by as much as 200 to 300 km, from the Yangtze River Valley to the Yellow River Basin, and the current double-cropping system (DCS) will move to the central part of China, into the current single cropping system (SCS) area which will decrease in SCS surface area of 23.1 % by 2050. Climate warming will also affect the optimum location for the cultivation of China's main crop varieties. If no measures are taken to adapt to climate changes, compared with the potential yield in 1961-1990, yields of irrigated wheat, corn and rice are projected to decrease by 2.2-6.7%, 0.4%-11.9% and 4.3-12.4% respectively in the 2050s. Climate warming will enhance potential evaporation and reduce the availability of soil moisture, thus causing a greater need for agricultural irrigation, intensifying the conflict between water supply and demand especially in arid and semi-arid areas of China. With adequate irrigation, the extent of the reduction in yield of China's corn and wheat can be improved by 5 % to 15 %, and rice by 5 % or so than the potential yield in 1961-1990. Adaptive measures can reduce the agricultural loss under climate change. If effective measures are taken in a timely way, then climate change in the next 30-50 years will not have a significant influence on China's food security.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Bibliographic Reference: Climatic Change; 120(1-2):313-324 (September 2013) (Published online 26 June 2013)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:48
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2016 15:56
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/10422

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