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Global crop output and irrigation water requirements under a changing climate

Nechifor-Vostinaru, V; Winning, M; (2019) Global crop output and irrigation water requirements under a changing climate. Heliyon , 5 (3) , Article e01266. 10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01266. Green open access

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Abstract

The anthropogenic increases in CO2 atmospheric concentrations are expected to lead to multiple and possibly opposing effects on crop performance with important implications for crop water productivity. The study integrates the global responses to mounting concentrations at three levels – climatic, cropping and economic – to determine the deviations in crop production and irrigation water requirements from a 'no climate change' socioeconomic development storyline. The biophysical effects are considered comprehensively for eight crop classes by taking into account alterations both to rainfed and irrigation yields, and to irrigation water intensities. These changes in crop growing conditions are explored in the 2004–2050 timeframe across two concentrations pathways (RCP2.6 and RCP 8.5) with the inclusion of the CO2 fertilisation effect. The economic responses are determined through a global water CGE model (RESCU-Water) comprising a bottom-up representation of crop systems. Changes in climatic conditions reduce crop output and depress the global water demand for irrigated crops in spite of an increase in irrigation water intensities. Discrepancies in crop production impacts between tropical and temperate regions increase with CO2 concentration levels. Embedding CO2 fertilisation more than offsets these adverse effects by determining a net increase in crop production and a reduction in irrigation water requirements at a regional level. The resulting water savings potential, even in the lower concentrations scenario (RCP2.6), warrant more research with the aim of reducing the different classes of uncertainty regarding the effects of CO2 fertilisation.

Type: Article
Title: Global crop output and irrigation water requirements under a changing climate
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01266
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01266
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Environmental science, Economics, Agriculture
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069535
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