Adapting to a changing climate - Jerry Knox, Cranfield University
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Adapting to a changing climate - Jerry Knox, Cranfield University

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This presentation formed part of the Farming Futures workshop 'Irrigation in a changing climate: save water, save money, get fit for the future'. ...

This presentation formed part of the Farming Futures workshop 'Irrigation in a changing climate: save water, save money, get fit for the future'.

17th November 2009

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  • 1. Adapting to a changing climate Jerry Knox, Centre for Water Science
  • 2. Observed increase in European annual mean air temperature, 1860 to 2008 2.00 1.75 2008 10th warmest on record e 1.50 g a r e 1.25 1990s warmest decade v a in last 100 years 9 1.00 9 8 1 - 0 0.75 5 8 1 0.50 o t d 0.25 e r ) a C p 0.00 mo o ( c -0.25 , n o i t a i -0.50 v e -0.75 d e r u t -1.00 a r e p -1.25 m e T -1.50 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Annual deviations (land only) 10-year moving average (land only)
  • 3. Impact pathways for irrigated agriculture Human activity Increase in Stomatal resistance Crop cultivars atmospheric CO2 Crop growth rates Areas irrigated concentration Depths applied Climate and weather Changes in rainfall Irrigation water and ET (pattern and demand intensity)
  • 4. Climate variability drives irrigation water demand 100 Evapotranspiration (ET) 90 80 70 60 50 40 Rainfall (P) 30 20 10 0 l n b ar pr ay n Ju ug p ct ov ec Ja Fe M A M Ju A Se O N D
  • 5. Predicted changes in rainfall 2050L 2050H 60 40 Precipitation anomaly (%) . 20 0 -20 -40 -60 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  • 6. Predicted changes in evapotranspiration (ET)
  • 7. Current agroclimate variability (1961-90) Supplemental irrigation concentrated in east and south east England – where rainfall <600 mm year
  • 8. A changing climate (2020s) By the 2020s, the irrigation needs of central England will be similar to those experienced now in eastern England
  • 9. A changing climate (2050s) By the 2050s, eastern southern and central England will have irrigation needs greater than those currently experienced anywhere in England
  • 10. Case study – impacts of climate change on potatoes in the 2050s  Maris piper variety for pre-pack market  Sandy loam soil  Overhead irrigation  Scheduled for scab control and bulking Impacts on water use and yield
  • 11. Impacts on future irrigation needs (mm) 400 Baseline 350 2050_L 2050_H 300 Irrigaiton need (mm) 250 200 150 100 50 0 3 8 14 19 24 30 35 41 46 51 57 62 68 73 78 84 89 95 100 Probability of non exceedance (%)
  • 12. Impacts on future irrigation needs (mm) 400 Baseline 1. Future ‘average year’ more like a current 350 2050_L ‘dry year’ 2. Irrigation schemes could fail to meet future 2050_H peak irrigation demand in 50% of years 300 Irrigaiton need (mm) 250 200 150 100 50 0 3 8 14 19 24 30 35 41 46 51 57 62 68 73 78 84 89 95 100 Probability of non exceedance (%)
  • 13. Uncertainty in future irrigation needs
  • 14. Climate impacts on potato yield
  • 15. The adaption message  Water is already scarce, and climate change will make it even scarcer  Adaptation will be essential, and will reinforce current trends  Many adaptations actions will be “no regret” i.e. they make sense now by solving existing water resource issues, and contribute to your future adaptability Beware of mal-adaptations - changes that climate change renders worthless
  • 16. Crop level adaptation Modelling assumed unchanged practices - but there will be autonomous adaptation even if not planned adaptation  Earlier planting and harvest dates  Change to better adapted varieties  Less use of very light soils  Move to different region – northwards and westwards  GM technology
  • 17. Adaption – what others are doing Building reservoirs Starting to work together forming ‘water abstractor groups’ Making better use of existing supplies