February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 9, NUMBER 7, JULY 1996
IMPACTS: IMPACTS ON AGRICULTURE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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