Adjusting Cropping Calendars of Rice-based Systems to Mitigate Heat Stress Under Climate Change in South Asia

Wang, X. (2020). Adjusting Cropping Calendars of Rice-based Systems to Mitigate Heat Stress Under Climate Change in South Asia. IIASA YSSP Report. Laxenburg, Austria: IIASA

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Abstract

Climate change poses increasing risks to food security of South Asia with more severe heat stress, water scarcity, and flooding. As one of the major adaptation measures, adjusting crop calendars could be a feasible and effective solution to avoid adverse effects on crop yield potentials in a changing climate by allowing crops to grow in more favorable weather conditions. Previous single-crop and single-objective studies on the optimization of crop planting dates lack comprehensive consideration of multi-crop rotation systems, especially rice-based cropping systems with very short growing season intervals in Asian tropical monsoon regions. This study seeks to better understand potentials and limitations of adjusting crop calendars for climate change adaptation of double-rice and rice-wheat rotation systems, with a particular focus on the following questions: (1) Is it possible to avoid yield loss of rice and wheat through adjusting crop calendars in the study area? (2) How will fallow period between crop growing seasons change in the future? (3) What are relationships between crop yield improvement, irrigation water requirement, and heat stress mitigationin the study area?

To address these questions, we calibrated a spatial implementation of the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) agronomic model to estimate annual potential yields, irrigation water requirement, and heat stress days of irrigated double-rice and rice-wheat cropping systems in Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar (the BIM countries), and adjusted crop calendars (a) by single-objectiveoptimization with maximum yield and (b) multi-objective optimization with least irrigation water requirement, minimum heat stress days, and highest potential yield under climate change.

Our results indicate that most yield loss in rice and wheat could be avoided through shifting planting dates while considering effects of elevated atmospheric CO2concentration on biomass assimilation and transpiration. The model indicates that fallow periods between kharif-rice harvest dates and rabi-rice planting dates in double-rice systems are likely to become longer due to shorter growing season duration meanwhile fallow periods between kharif-rice harvest dates and rabi-wheat planting dates in rice-wheat systems are likely to become shorter due to advanced planting dates of rabi wheat, which implies that double-rice systems in the BIM countries will have more flexibility to cope with smaller time windows for crop growth and development in the future. Moreover, nearly half of the study area hasthe potential to increase yield by more than 10% through changing crop calendars compared to the basic scenario with non-adjusted crop calendars under RCP8.5 in 2080s, but 59% of these areas would face contradictions in obtaining crop yield improvement, saving irrigation water, and mitigating heat stress in the future. We found those areas suitable foradoptingshifting planting dates as one of adaptation strategiesfrom the perspective of climate conditions, such as Punjab state in India and Rangpur in Bangladesh, are also the areas with shortened growing season intervals, which requires great efforts to achieve the adaptation objectives under climate change. Thus, the trade-off among economic cost, environmental impacts, and food security should be carefully considered for local governments and farmers to promote adjustment of crop calendars in the future.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA YSSP Report)
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 10:16
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2020 10:16
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16941

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