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Integrated assessment of Hadley Center (HadCM2) climate-change impacts on agricultural productivity and irrigation water supply in the conterminous United States: Part II. Regional agricultural production in 2030 and 2095

Izaurralde, R. César, Rosenberg, Norman J., Brown, Robert A., Thomson, Allison M.
Agricultural and forest meteorology 2003 v.117 no.1-2 pp. 97-122
agroecosystems, carbon dioxide, climate, climate change, corn, crops, economic resources, evapotranspiration, farms, grain yield, irrigated farming, irrigation requirement, irrigation water, lakes, models, prediction, temperature, transpiration, water supply, water use efficiency, Alabama, Appalachian region, Arizona, California, Colorado, Corn Belt region, Florida, Great Lakes, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, Utah
A national assessment (NA) evaluated the potential consequences of climate change and variability on the agriculture, water resources, as well as other economic and natural resource sectors in the United States. As part of this process, we used scenarios of the HadCM2 GCM and the EPIC agroecosystem model to evaluate climate-change impacts on crop yields and ecosystem processes. Baseline climate data were obtained from national records for 1961-1990. The scenario runs for 2025-2034 and 2090-2099 were extracted from a HadCM2 run. EPIC was run on 204 representative farms under current climate and two 10-year periods centered on 2030 and 2095, each at CO2 concentrations of 365 and 560 ppm. Crops were simulated under both dryland and irrigated management, with irrigation water supply estimates taken from the HUMUS simulations in Paper 1. Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and California are projected to experience significant temperature increases by 2030. Slight cooling is expected by 2030 in Alabama, Florida, Maine, Montana, Idaho, and Utah. Larger areas are projected to experience increased warming by 2095. Uniform precipitation increases are expected by 2030 in the northeast. These increases are predicted to expand to the eastern half of the country by 2095. Regionally, dryland corn yields could increase, decrease or remain unchanged under the two scenarios. EPIC simulated yield increases for the Great Lakes, Corn Belt and Northeast regions. Simulated yields of irrigated corn were predicted to increase in almost all regions. Soybean yields could decrease in the Northern and Southern Plains, the Corn Belt, Delta, Appalachian, and Southeast regions and increase in the Lakes and Northeast regions. Simulated wheat yields exhibited upward trends under scenarios of climate-change. Evapotranspiration in dryland corn is expected to increase in both future periods while water-use efficiency will decrease. National corn production in 2030 and 2095 could be affected by changes in three major producing regions. In 2030, corn production could increase in the Corn Belt and Lakes regions but decrease in the Northern Plains leading to an overall decrease in national production. National wheat production is expected to increase during both future periods. A proxy indicator was developed to provide a sense of where in the country, and when water would be available to satisfy change in irrigation demand for corn and alfalfa production as these are influenced by the HadCM2 scenarios and CO2-fertilization. Irrigation requirement by irrigated crops declines under these scenarios as transpiration is suppressed.