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An assessment of regional vulnerability of rice to climate change in India

Soora, Naresh Kumar, Aggarwal, P. K., Saxena, Rani, Rani, Swaroopa, Jain, Surabhi, Chauhan, Nitin
Climatic change 2013 v.118 no.3-4 pp. 683-699
cultivars, rice, irrigation, fertilizers, climate change, rain, grain yield, plant cultural practices, climate models, irrigated farming, emissions, climate, crops, India
A simulation analysis was carried out using the InfoCrop-rice model to quantify impacts and adaptation gains, as well as to identify vulnerable regions for irrigated and rain fed rice cultivation in future climates in India. Climates in A1b, A2, B1 and B2 emission scenarios as per a global climate model (MIROC3.2.HI) and a regional climate model (PRECIS) were considered for the study. On an aggregated scale, the mean of all emission scenarios indicate that climate change is likely to reduce irrigated rice yields by ~4 % in 2020 (2010–2039), ~7 % in 2050 (2040–2069), and by ~10 % in 2080 (2070–2099) climate scenarios. On the other hand, rainfed rice yields in India are likely to be reduced by ~6 % in the 2020 scenario, but in the 2050 and 2080 scenarios they are projected to decrease only marginally (<2.5 %). However, spatial variations exist for the magnitude of the impact, with some regions likely to be affected more than others. Adaptation strategies comprising agronomical management can offset negative impacts in the near future—particularly in rainfed conditions—but in the longer run, developing suitable varieties coupled with improved and efficient crop husbandry will become essential. For irrigated rice crop, genotypic and agronomic improvements will become crucial; while for rainfed conditions, improved management and additional fertilizers will be needed. Basically climate change is likely to exhibit three types of impacts on rice crop: i) regions that are adversely affected by climate change can gain in net productivity with adaptation; ii) regions that are adversely affected will still remain vulnerable despite adaptation gains; and iii) rainfed regions (with currently low rainfall) that are likely to gain due to increase in rainfall can further benefit by adaptation. Regions falling in the vulnerable category even after suggested adaptation to climate change will require more intensive, specific and innovative adaptation options. The present analysis indicates the possibility of substantial improvement in yields with efficient utilization of inputs and adoption of improved varieties.