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THE EFFECT OF CO2 INDUCED CLIMATIC CHANGES ON AGRICULTURE IN THE EC

Objective

TO DETERMINE FROM TRANSIENT EXPERIMENTS WITH ATMOSPHERIC GENERAL CIRCULATION MODELS (GCMS) THE POINT AT WHICH CRITICAL SPATIAL SHIFTS OF AGRICULTURAL POTENTIAL WOULD OCCUR AS A RESULT OF INCREASING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 AND OTHER TRACE GASES.

THE STAGES IN THE RESEARCH PROCESS WILL BE AS FOLLOWS :STAGE I) CHARACTERIZATION OF THE MAJOR ZONES OF AGRICULTURAL POTENTIAL IN THE EC ACCORDING TO THEIR CLIMATIC REQUIREMENTS.THIS WILL BE ACHIEVED BY : A) USE OF SIMPLIFIED CROP-WEATHER MODELS FOR SPECIFIC CROPS TO ESTABLISH MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM GROWTH PERIODS, TEMPERATURE/PRECIPITATION/RADIATION NEEDS AND ESTIMATED POTENTIAL YIELD, B) USE OF AN AGROCLIMATIC INDEX TO QUANTIFY THE EFFECT OF CLIMATIC VARIABILITY ON YIELD VARIABILITY. STAGE II IDENTIFICATION OF THE MAGNITUDE AND EXTEND OF CHANGES IN CLIMATE WHICH WOULD BE REQUIRED TO CAUSE A SIGNIFICANT SPATIAL SHIFT OF THE LOCATION BOUNDARIES OF THE MAJOR ZONES OF AGRICULTURAL POTENTIAL.IN THE FIRST INSTANCE THIS CAN BE ACHIEVED BY A SIMPLE SENSITIVITY STUDY OF AGROCLIMATIC ZONES.SUBSEQUENTLY, REFINEMENTS WOULD INCLUDE SENSITIVITY EXPERIMENTS USING THE CROP-CLIMATE RELATIONSHIPS ESTABLISHED IN I) ABOVE. THE ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUES APPROPRIATE FOR THIS SPATIAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT INCLUDE ISOPLETH-SHIFT ANALYSIS AND RISK ANALYSIS.AS IN STAGE I) ABOVE, INITIAL ATTENTION WILL BE GIVEN TO SPECIFIC CROPS AND REGIONS WHICH PRIMA FACIE ARE BOTH SENSITIVE TO CLIMATE AND ARE OF ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE IN THE EC (E.G. THE LIMITS TO SPRING AND WINTER WHEAT, MAIZE AND SUGAR BEET, ESPECIALLY IN NORTHERN AREAS WHERE THE GROWING SEASON IS LIMITED BY TEMPERATURE AND IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION WHERE IT IS LIMITED BY PRECIPITATION).SUBSEQUENTLY, THE WORK WILL EXPAND FROM THESE PILOT REGIONS TO COVER OTHER CROPS (E.G. RICE, BARLEY, VINES) AND OTHER REGIONS (PARTICULARLY THE CENTRAL LOWLAND REGION BETWEEN 44 DEG. N AND 52 DEG. N). STAGE III CONSIDERATION OF THE EFFECT OF A NUMBER OF SCENARIOS OF A) CO2-INDUCED CLIMATIC CHANGE AND B) SHORT-TERM VARIABILITY (SUCH AS ANOMALOUSLY DRY SPEELS OR COLD SPELLS) ON THE LOCATION OF BOUNDARIES OF SPECIFIED TYPES OF AGRICULTURAL POTENTIAL. THE GODDARD INSTITUTE FOR SPACE STUDIES (GISS) GCM WILL PROVIDE SCENARIOS FOR THE LONG-TERM CLIMATIC CHANGES. OUTPUTS FROM THIS WORK WOULD BE A SERIES OF MAPS LOCATING THE SPATIAL SHIFT OF POTENTIAL FOR DIFFERENT SCENARIOS. THE FORM OF ANALYSIS HERE HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY EMPLOYED TO MAP POSSIBLE SHIFTS OF AGRICULTURAL POTENTIAL IN NORTH AMERICA.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

University of Birmingham
Address
Edgbaston
B15 2TT Birmingham
United Kingdom

Participants (1)

UNIVERSITA DI FIRENZE