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Assessment of climate change impact on wheat yield: a multi-modeling case study of central Punjab, Pakistan

Zaffar Munir, Sangam Shrestha, Muhammad Zaman*, Muhammad Imran Khan, Malik Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Naveed Tahir

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to quantify the impact of climate change on the yield and phenology of winter wheat in Punjab Province of Pakistan by integrating two famous crop models including APSIM and DSSAT with Regional climate models of CORDEX. The proposed work is designed to provide the best suitable combination of sowing and irrigation practices to combat the future climate change impact on winter wheat yield and phenology. Three Regional Climate Models (RCMs) were selected and climate variables were projected for the near (2017-2040), mid (2040-2069), and far (2070-2100) century. A combination of different irrigation applications, nitrogen increments, planting density adaptation, and shift in planting time adaptations was studied to overcome the reduction in wheat yield because of climate change. The field trial data and observed climatic data were used for the calibration and validation of the above-mentioned crop models and these data were replaced with RCMs scenarios, after validation of the models, to quantify the climate change effects on yield and phenology. The results of projected climatic models depicted an increase in precipitation (17.14 to 61.72%).), maximum (5.15 °C), and minimum temperature (and (5.81 °C) for these RCMs. Moreover, both crop models, under RCP 4.5 and 8.5, depicted a 2.81 to 31.0% reduction in wheat yield during three-century scenarios compared to baseline yield. Different adaptation strategies were suggested to combat the climate change effects on crop yield. The results showed that the yield reduces up to 21.11% and 7.03% with increasing the fertilizer application rate up to 150 kg N ha-1 and 10-days early planting, respectively in the future. The results show that the planting time and proper nutrient management could be beneficial to attain higher wheat production under different climate change scenarios.