Present and future assessment of growing degree days over selected Greek areas with different climate conditions
The determination of heat requirements in the first developing phases of plants has been expressed as Growing Degree Days (GDD). The current study focuses on three selected study areas in Greece that are characterised by different climatic conditions due to their location and aims to assess the future variation and spatial distribution of Growing Degree Days (GDD) and how these can affect the main cultivations in the study areas. Future temperature data were obtained and analysed by the ENSEMBLES project. The analysis was performed for the future periods 2021–2050 and 2071–2100 with the A1B and B1 scenarios. Spatial distribution was performed using a combination of dynamical and statistical downscaling technique through ArcGIS 10.2.1. The results indicated that for all the future periods and scenarios, the GDD are expected to increase. Furthermore, the increase in the Sperchios River basin will be the highest, followed by the Ardas and the Geropotamos River basins. Moreover, the cultivation period will be shifted from April–October to April–September which will have social, economical and environmental benefits. Additionally, the spatial distribution indicated that in the upcoming years the existing cultivations can find favourable conditions and can be expanded in mountainous areas as well. On the other hand, due to the rough topography that exists in the study areas, the wide expansion of the existing cultivations into higher altitudes is unaffordable. Nevertheless, new more profitable cultivations can be introduced which can find propitious conditions in terms of GDD.