Climatic Change

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 331-343

First online:

Climate Change and Rice Yields in Diverse Agro-Environments of India. II. Effect of Uncertainties in Scenarios and Crop Models on Impact Assessment

  • P. K. AggarwalAffiliated withIndian Agricultural Research Institute, Centre for Applications of Systems Simulation
  • , R. K. MallAffiliated withIndian Agricultural Research Institute, Centre for Applications of Systems Simulation

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Estimates of impact of climate change on crop production could be biased depending upon the uncertainties in climate change scenarios, region of study, crop models used for impact assessment and the level of management. This study reports the results of a study where the impact of various climate change scenarios has been assessed on grain yields of irrigated rice with two popular crop simulation models- Ceres-Rice and ORYZA1N at different levels of N management. The results showed that the direct effect of climate change on rice crops in different agroclimatic regions in India would always be positive irrespective of the various uncertainties. Rice yields increased between 1.0 and 16.8% in pessimistic scenarios of climate change depending upon the level of management and model used. These increases were between 3.5 and 33.8% in optimistic scenarios. At current as well as improved level of management, southern and western parts of India which currently have relatively lower temperatures compared to northern and eastern regions, are likely to show greater sensitivity in rice yields under climate change. The response to climate change is small at low N management compared to optimal management. The magnitude of this impact can be biased upto 32% depending on the uncertainty in climate change scenario, level of management and crop model used. These conclusions are highly dependent on the specific thresholds of phenology and photosynthesis to change in temperature used in the models. Caution is needed in using the impact assessment results made with the average simulated grain yields and mean changes in climatic parameters.