Increased crop failure due to climate change: assessing adaptation options using models and socio-economic data for wheat in China
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Challinor AJ, Simelton ES, Fraser EDG, Hemming D, Collins M. 2010. Increased crop failure due to climate change: assessing adaptation options using models and socio-economic data for wheat in China. Environmental Research Letters 5 (3): 034012.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/33375
Tools for projecting crop productivity under a range of conditions, and assessing adaptation options, are an important part of the endeavour to prioritize investment in adaptation. We present ensemble projections of crop productivity that account for biophysical processes, inherent uncertainty and adaptation, using spring wheat in Northeast China as a case study. A parallel 'vulnerability index' approach uses quantitative socio-economic data to account for autonomous farmer adaptation. The simulations show crop failure rates increasing under climate change, due to increasing extremes of both heat and water stress. Crop failure rates increase with mean temperature, with increases in maximum failure rates being greater than those in median failure rates. The results suggest that significant adaptation is possible through either socio-economic measures such as greater investment, or biophysical measures such as drought or heat tolerance in crops. The results also show that adaptation becomes increasingly necessitated as mean temperature and the associated number of extremes rise. The results, and the limitations of this study, also suggest directions for research for linking climate and crop models, socio-economic analyses and crop variety trial data in order to prioritize options such as capacity building, plant breeding and biotechnology.