Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Re-assessing drought risks for UK crops using UKCIP02 climate change scenarios - CC0368

Description
This project will reappraise the risk of drought-related yield loss for representative arable crops using new predictions for climatic conditions likely to occur in the UK until the middle of this century (2050s). The aim is to address DEFRA policy on “Climate adaptation, risk, uncertainty and decision-making” with respect to winter and spring crop production (wheat, sugar beet). We will be using scenarios based on the HADCM3 climate modelling (UKCIP02), which predict a rise in summer temperatures between 1.5 and 3.5 °C for the UK’s most important agricultural area. The project will mainly provide a direct comparison to the outputs of the preceding project (CC0336) by using the same crop modelling approaches: 1. Generating daily weather from monthly parameters of the new scenarios for a number of representative sites. 2. Assessing the regional distribution of soil moisture deficit with reference to the prevailing soil types (available soil water capacities) and physiological thresholds. 3. Estimating the climate change impact on the reduction of potential yields for the medium-high emission scenario. 4. Constructing probability distributions of future yields by using the models for temperature-driven and water-limited crop production for a range of emission scenarios. 5. Testing a range of management options and crop parameters to adapt to increased risks. In addition we will analyse the sensitivity and uncertainty of drought-indicators and yields to changes in model inputs (stochastic weather parameters) and model complexity (soil hydrology). The results of the project will enable government and industry to base their policy and research strategies on a wider range of evidence concerning the risks of production and needs to improve crop management (spatial allocation; breeding and variety selection).

Objective
The overall objective of this work is to use the methodology and system of crop models developed in CC0336 and to expand the drought risk analyses for two crops using the UKCIP02 scenarios. In specific:
1) Generate daily climate change scenarios, based on UKCIP02 5-km grid monthly output for UK-LO and UK-HI climate projections and daily HadRM3 50-km grid output, using the LARS-WG stochastic weather generator for a number of representative sites.
2) Assess the regional distribution of soil moisture deficit with state-of-the-art models and with reference to the prevailing soil types (available soil water capacities) and physiological thresholds, and estimate the climate change impact on the reduction of potential yields and construct probability distributions of future yields.
3) Analyse the sensitivity and uncertainty of drought-indicators and yields to changes in model inputs (stochastic weather parameters) and model complexity (soil hydrology), and test a range of management options and crop parameters to adapt to increased risks.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Re-assessing drought risks for UK crops using UKCIP02 climate change scenarios   (377k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2004

Cost: £90,649
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Rothamsted Research (BBSRC)
Keywords
Arable              
Climate and Weather              
Climate Change              
Environmental Protection              
Global Warming              
Sustainable Production              
Wheat              
Fields of Study
Agriculture and Climate Change