CR 49:211-227 (2011)  -  DOI:

Climate change and crop adaptation in Spain: ­consistency of regional climate models

A. Garrido1,*, D. Rey2, M. Ruiz-Ramos3, M. I. Mínguez4

1,2ETSIA and CEIGRAM, Technical University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
3Instituto de Ciencias Ambientales, University of Castilla-La Mancha, 45071 Toledo, Spain
4Agricultural Systems Group, Depto. Producción Vegetal: Fitotecnia, Technical University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain

ABSTRACT: This work analyses projections of agricultural impacts obtained with an ensemble of 10 regional climate models (RCMs) from the European project PRUDENCE, applied to yields of winter and summer crops. Projections were evaluated for 12 sites of the Iberian Peninsula for the 2071−2100 period, taking 1961−1990 as the control period or baseline. Future prospects for agriculture require quantifying the variability and discrepancy between results obtained from the modelling chain RCMs−crop models, i.e. the climate−impact ensemble, as well as the possible benefits drawn from the adaptation strategies of agriculture to the new climate conditions. Consistency within the climate−impact ensemble members was assessed by ranking comparisons of both projected yield impacts and yield changes. Adaptation strategies were simulated for cropping options having low uncertainty projections of yield decrease, as was the case for fully irrigated maize. The consistency between the 10 RCMs per crop and site was classified as generally moderate. Consistency among RCMs was greater both in rainfed and irrigated farming of winter cereals in N-plateau, NE-Valley, NW-Inland, Center and NE, and very low in maize in the NW-Coast for example. RCM inconsistencies are a source of uncertainty in predicting climate change (CC) impacts on agriculture. Ranking comparisons of yield changes among different sites and cropping options gave even lower ensemble consistency, which shows the difficulty in projecting yield changes resulting from CC.

KEY WORDS: Climate change · Crop yield · Maize · Wheat · Iberian Peninsula · RCMs · ­Uncertainty

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Cite this article as: Garrido A, Rey D, Ruiz-Ramos M, Mínguez MI (2011) Climate change and crop adaptation in Spain: ­consistency of regional climate models. Clim Res 49:211-227.

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