Impacts of Future Climate Change on California Perennial Crop Yields: Model Projections with Climate and Crop Uncertainties

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Most research on the agricultural impacts of climate change has focused on the major annual crops, yet perennial cropping systems are less adaptable and thus potentially more susceptible to damage. Improved assessments of yield responses to future climate are needed to prioritize adaptation strategies in the many regions where perennial crops are economically and culturally important. These impact assessments, in turn, must rely on climate and crop models that contain often poorly defined uncertainties. We evaluated the impact of climate change on six major perennial crops in California: wine grapes, almonds, table grapes, oranges, walnuts, and avocados. Outputs from multiple ... continued below

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Lobell, D; Field, C; Cahill, K & Bonfils, C January 10, 2006.

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Most research on the agricultural impacts of climate change has focused on the major annual crops, yet perennial cropping systems are less adaptable and thus potentially more susceptible to damage. Improved assessments of yield responses to future climate are needed to prioritize adaptation strategies in the many regions where perennial crops are economically and culturally important. These impact assessments, in turn, must rely on climate and crop models that contain often poorly defined uncertainties. We evaluated the impact of climate change on six major perennial crops in California: wine grapes, almonds, table grapes, oranges, walnuts, and avocados. Outputs from multiple climate models were used to evaluate climate uncertainty, while multiple statistical crop models, derived by resampling historical databases, were used to address crop response uncertainties. We find that, despite these uncertainties, climate change in California is very likely to put downward pressure on yields of almonds, walnuts, avocados, and table grapes by 2050. Without CO{sub 2} fertilization or adaptation measures, projected losses range from 0 to >40% depending on the crop and the trajectory of climate change. Climate change uncertainty generally had a larger impact on projections than crop model uncertainty, although the latter was substantial for several crops. Opportunities for expansion into cooler regions are identified, but this adaptation would require substantial investments and may be limited by non-climatic constraints. Given the long time scales for growth and production of orchards and vineyards ({approx}30 years), climate change should be an important factor in selecting perennial varieties and deciding whether and where perennials should be planted.

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PDF-file: 27 pages; size: 0.1 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: agriculture and forest meteorology, vol. 141, N/A, December 11, 2006, pp. 208-218

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-219785
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 898436
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc888854

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • January 10, 2006

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 2:14 p.m.

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Lobell, D; Field, C; Cahill, K & Bonfils, C. Impacts of Future Climate Change on California Perennial Crop Yields: Model Projections with Climate and Crop Uncertainties, article, January 10, 2006; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888854/: accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.