Simulating the impacts of climate change on cotton production in India
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Hebbar KB, Venugopalan MV, Prakash AH, Aggarwal PK. 2013. Simulating the impacts of climate change on cotton production in India. Climatic Change 118(3-4):701-713.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52089
General circulation models (GCMs) project increases in the earth’s surface air temperatures and other climate changes by the mid or late 21st century, and therefore crops such as cotton (Gossypium spp L.) will be grown in a much different environment than today. To understand the implications of climate change on cotton production in India, cotton production to the different scenarios (A2, B2 and A1B) of future climate was simulated using the simulation model Infocrop-cotton. The GCM projections showed a nearly 3.95, 3.20 and 1.85 °C rise in mean temperature of cotton growing regions of India for the A2, B2 and A1B scenarios, respectively. Simulation results using the Infocrop-cotton model indicated that seed cotton yield declined by 477 kg ha−1 for the A2 scenario and by 268 kg ha−1 for the B2 scenario; while it was non-significant for the A1B scenario. However, it became non-significant under elevated [CO2] levels across all the scenarios. The yield decline was higher in the northern zone over the southern zone. The impact of climate change on rainfed cotton which covers more than 60 % of the country’s total cotton production area (mostly in the central zone) and is dependent on the monsoons is likely to be minimum, possibly on account of marginal increase in rainfall levels. Results of this assessment suggest that productivity in northern India may marginally decline; while in central and southern India, productivity may either remain the same or increase. At the national level, therefore, cotton production is unlikely to change with climate change. Adaptive measures such as changes in planting time and more responsive cultivars may further boost cotton production in India.