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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
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Item #d96jul9

Two items in Clim. Change, 33(1), 1-6, May 1996:

"The Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture," S. Helms (Triangle Econ. Res., 1000 Park Forty Plaza, #200, Durham NC 27713), R. Mendelsohn, J. Neumann, 1-6. Early studies of climate change impacts predicted large losses to U.S. agriculture. This essay discusses four factors that have caused more recent estimates to be more optimistic: (1) milder climate scenarios; (2) adaptation by farmers; (3) increased productivity from carbon fertilization; and (4) warmth-loving crops were omitted in earlier studies. Key remaining questions include how tropical and subtropical farming will be affected, and how effects will be distributed regionally.

"Agricultural Adaptation to Climatic Variation," B. Smit (Dept. Geog., Univ. Guelph, Guelph ON N1G 2W1, Can.), D. McNabb, J. Smithers, 7-29. Explores assumptions underlying impact assessments of climate change for agriculture, both conceptually (with a model of agricultural adaptation to climate), and empirically, based on a survey of 120 farm operators in southwestern Ontario. Many farmers were affected by variable climatic conditions over a six-year period, but only 20 percent were sufficiently influenced to respond with conscious changes in their operations.

Item #d96jul10

Four related items in Clim. Change, 32(3), Mar. 1996:

"High-Frequency Climatic Variability and Crop Yields," D.S. Wilks (Dept. Soil, Crop & Atmos. Sci., Bradfield Hall, Cornell Univ., Ithaca NY 14853), S.J. Riha, 231-235. Introducing the following three papers, this editorial stresses that short-term climate variability, not just changes in climatic means, is an important factor in the climate sensitivity of natural and managed systems, and that much more work is needed to clarify climate impacts.

"Use of Conditional Stochastic Models to Generate Climate Change Scenarios," R.W. Katz (ESIG, NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), 237-255.

"The Effect of Changes in Daily and Interannual Climatic Variability on [the] CERES-Wheat [Model]: A Sensitivity Study," L.O. Mearns (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), C. Rosenzweig, R. Goldberg, 257-292.

"Impact of Temperature and Precipitation Variability on Crop Model Predictions," S.J. Riha (Dept. Soil, Crop & Atmos. Sci., Bradfield Hall, Cornell Univ., Ithaca NY 14853), 293-311.

Item #d96jul11

"Implication of Climate Warming for Agricultural Production in Eastern China," W. Futang (Chinese Acad. Meteor. Sci., Baishiqiao Rd. #46, Beijing 100081, China), World Resour. Rev., 8(1), 61-68, Mar. 1996.

Potential impacts on production of rice, winter wheat and corn are estimated based on composite regional GCM scenarios combined with a weather-yield model and a cropping system model. Warming would affect corn most, wheat next, and rice least; there would be a significant northward shift in cropping patterns. However, it is difficult to determine whether the overall impact of climate warming would be good or bad for farming in China, due to uncertainties in the GCM scenarios and the complex impact of climate change on agriculture.

Item #d96jul12

"Integrating Global and Regional Analyses of the Effects of Climate Change: A Case Study of Land Use in England and Wales," M.L. Parry (Dept. Geog., Univ. College, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP, UK), J.E. Hossell et al., Clim. Change, 32(2), 185-198, Feb. 1996.

Uses a case study to illustrate an integrated assessment of the global and regional effects of climate change on land use. Data on world food prices provide input to a land-use model, which integrates the effect of price changes for various crops with climate-related changes in yield through the year 2060.

Item #d96jul13

"A Model-Based Assessment of Impacts of Climate Change on Boro Rice Yield in Bangladesh," R. Mahmood (Dept. Geog., Univ. Oklahoma, Norman OK 73019), J.T. Hayes, Phys. Geog., 16(6), 463-486, Nov.-Dec. 1995.

Rice, the main food crop in Bangladesh, is sensitive to climatic variations. A climatic crop productivity model is applied to the boro rice growing season (Dec.-May) for various combinations of altered thermal and solar climates. A 1° C rise in mean growing season air temperature reduces boro rice yield by 4.6%; and each 10% increase in incident solar radiation causes a 6.5% increase of yield.

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