Vulnerabilities of irrigated and rainfed corn to climate change in a humid climate in the Lower Mississippi Delta.

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From: Climatic Change(Vol. 164, Issue 1-2)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Report
Length: 405 words

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Keywords: Climate change; Corn; Rainfed systems; Irrigated systems; Water use efficiency; Cropping system model; Climate impacts in agriculture; Climate adaptations Abstract The use of fossil fuels for energy needs increases atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations to levels that can significantly exacerbate the climate on earth. Assessing the vulnerability of regional crop production systems to such an altered climate in the future is essential for implementing appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies for sustainable agriculture. We investigated the possible impacts of climate change (CC) projected by multiple global climate models (GCMs) on rainfed and irrigated corn (Zea mays L., a C4 plant) in the Lower Mississippi Delta region (LMD), USA. The CSM-CROPGRO-Maize v4.6 module in the RZWQM2 model (hereafter referred to as the "corn model") was previously calibrated and validated for modeling corn at Stoneville, Mississippi, a representative location in the LMD was used. The CC scenarios considered in this study were ensembles of climate projections of multiple GCMs (97 ensemble members) that participated in the Climate Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Program 5. These CC scenarios were bias-corrected and spatially downscaled (BCSD) at the location for the years 2050 and 2080. Four representative GHG concentration pathways (RCP) 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, and 8.5 drove these CC scenarios. Under both irrigated and rainfed conditions, corn yield responses to enhanced CO.sub.2 were weak thus, yield declined significantly in response to the enhanced air temperatures under all the RCP scenarios in both 2050 and 2080. The yield declines across RCPs ranged between 10 and 62% under irrigated conditions, and between 9 and 60% under rainfed conditions, mainly due to increased frequency of extreme temperatures and reduced crop durations. Water use efficiency declined between 22 and 150% under irrigated, and 8 and 54% under rainfed management. As an adaptation measure, planting corn up to 9 weeks earlier in the season, in general, failed to boost yields from increased crop duration and reduction in upper extreme air temperatures, as incidences of lower extreme temperatures also increased alarmingly. Development of cultivars that are more heat tolerant and produce higher yields under extreme temperatures would be required to combat corn yield decline in the region from climate change. Author Affiliation: (1) Sustainable Water Management Research Unit, USDA-ARS, P.O. Box 350, 38776, Stoneville, MS, USA (2) Crop Production Systems Research Unit, USDA-ARS, P.O. Box 350, 38776, Stoneville, MS, USA (a) Article History: Registration Date: 01/07/2021 Received Date: 10/02/2020 Accepted Date: 01/06/2021 Online Date: 01/18/2021 Byline:

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A649299604