Potential impacts of climate change and climate variability on China’s rice yield and production

Wei Xiong, Declan Conway, Erda Lin, Ian Holman

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We assessed the effect of greenhouse gas-induced climate change, as well as the direct fertilization effect of CO2, on rice yields and production in China. Our methodology coupled the regional climate model PRECIS (Providing Regional Climates for Impacts Studies) with the CERES (Crop Environment Resources Synthesis) rice crop model to simulate current (1961–1990) and future (2011–2100) rice yields and production under A2 and B2 climate change scenarios. The movement of rice-producing areas to more favorable climatic conditions was also considered. Results demonstrate that simulated future rice yields decrease without the CO2 fertilization effect and increase in some areas and time slices with it. Yield variability measured by the coefficient of variation exhibits increases in both scenarios, with the largest increases under A2. Due to favorable climatic conditions, single rice cropping may expand further north in China, and double rice cropping may move to the northern portion of the Yangtze River basin. China’s potential rice production is projected to increase in the future, due to the CO2 fertilization effect and shifts in rice-producing areas. Three rice cultivation regions (Sichuan basin, Yangtze River basin, and Huang-huaihai plain) are identified as highly sensitive to future climate change if no adaptation measures are implemented, due to yield decreases and large increases in production variability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
JournalClimate Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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