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CR 52:175-191 (2012)  -  DOI:

Contribution to the CR Special: 'The regional climate model RegCM4'

Projecting climate change, drought conditions and crop productivity in Turkey

Burak Sen1, Sevilay Topcu2,*, Murat Türkeș3, Baha Sen4, Jeoren F. Warner5

1Turkish State Meteorological Service, Department of Weather Forecasting, Numerical Weather Prediction Division, 06120 Kalaba-Ankara, Turkey
2Department of Agricultural Structures and Irrigation, Faculty of Agriculture, Cukurova University, 01330 Adana, Turkey
3Department of Geography, Faculty of Sciences and Arts, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Terzioglu Campus, 17020 Canakkale, Turkey
4Department of Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Karabuk University, 78050 Karabuk, Turkey
5Disaster Studies, Social Sciences Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on the evaluation of regional climate model simulation for Turkey for the 21st century. A regional climate model, ICTP-RegCM3, with 20 km horizontal resolution, is used to downscale the reference and future climate scenario (IPCC-A2) simulations. Characteristics of droughts as well as the crop growth and yields of first- and second-crop corn are then calculated and simulated based on the data produced. The model projects an increase in air temperature of 5 to 7°C during the summer season over the west and an increase of 3.5°C for the winter season for the eastern part of the country. Precipitation is predicted to be 40% less in the southwest, although it may increase by 25% in the eastern part of the Black Sea region and northeastern Turkey. Trends in drought intensity and crop growth are related to climate changes. The results suggest more frequent, intense and long-lasting droughts in the country particularly along the western and southern coasts under future climate conditions. A shift of climate classes towards drier conditions is also projected for the western, southern and central regions during the 21st century. Evaluating the role of the climate change trends in crop production reveals significant decreases in yield and shortened growth seasons for first- and second-crop corn, a likely result of high temperatures and water stresses. In addition to rising temperatures and declining precipitation, increasing frequency, severity and duration of drought events may significantly affect food production and socio-economic conditions in Turkey. Our results may help policy makers and relevant sectors to implement appropriate and timely measures to cope with climate-change-induced droughts and their effects in the future.

KEY WORDS: Regional climate model · RegCM3 · Climate change · Drought indices · Agriculture · Crop growth model · Corn · Turkey

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Cite this article as: Sen B, Topcu S, Türkeș M, Sen B, Warner JF (2012) Projecting climate change, drought conditions and crop productivity in Turkey. Clim Res 52:175-191.

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