Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (11): 2314-2328.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201911009

• Climate Change and Ecological Environment • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Multi-model ensemble projection of crop yield of India under RCP 8.5 climate change scenario during the 21st century

ZHANG Xuezhen1,2(),LI Xiaxiang1,2,ZHANG Lijuan3,XI Jianchao1,DAI Erfu1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Heilongjiang Province Key Laboratory of Geographical Environment Monitoring and Spatial Information Service in Cold Regions, Harbin Normal University, Harbin 150025, China
  • Received:2018-05-28 Revised:2019-08-22 Online:2019-11-25 Published:2019-11-01
  • Contact: ZHANG Xuezhen
  • Supported by:
    The National Key Research and Development Program of China(2016YFA0600401);Key Program from CAS, No.ZDRW-ZS-2016-6(ZDRW-ZS-2016-6);Key Program from CAS(QYZDB-SSW-DQC 005);Outstanding Young Scholars from IGSNRR(2015RC101);Youth Innovation Promotion Association CAS(2015038)


Using the multi-model ensemble projections of wheat and rice in India during the 21st century from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project, this study assessed the future changes in crop yield under the RCP 8.5 emission scenario. The results show that the multi-model ensemble simulations generally reproduce the spatial variability in crop yield that is represented by ground measurements. Furthermore, the simulations reproduce the response of crop yield to climate changes, which is characterized by negative correlations between crop yield and temperature and positive correlations between crop yield and precipitation. Under the RCP8.5 emission scenario, temperature and precipitation during the growing season of wheat and rice will increase. Generally, temperature will increase at a higher rate than precipitation; the increases in temperature and precipitation during the wheat growing season will be stronger than that during the rice growing season. In terms of spatial dimension, the increase in temperature will be weakened gradually from the north to the south, while that of precipitation will be intensified gradually from the north to the south. Temperature increase in the wheat producing areas will be stronger than that in the wheat non-producing area, while precipitation increase in the wheat producing areas will be weaker than that in the wheat non-producing areas. However, the scenario is predicted to be reversed for the rice producing areas. In response to the climate changes, wheat and rice yields will decrease in the 21st century, particularly in the second half. The decrease in wheat yield will be greater than that of rice yield. In the first half of the 21st century, wheat and rice yields are predicted to decrease at the rates of 1.3%/10 a (P < 0.001) and 0.7%/10 a (P < 0.05), respectively. In the second half of the 21st century, they are predicted to decrease at the rates of 4.9%/10 a (P < 0.001) and 4.4%/10 a (P < 0.05), respectively. The drought stress resulting from climate warming might be the main reason for this projected yield reduction. The greatest decrease in wheat yield (as high as 60%) will occur in the southwest part of the Deccan Plateau, and the greatest decrease in rice yield (as high as 50%) will occur in the northern part of the Gangetic Plain. These findings suggest that food supply in India will face extreme challenges under the future climate change scenarios.

Key words: India, crop yield per unit area, multi-model ensemble projection, RCP8.5 scenario, ISI-MIP