Date: 28 Aug 2010

Assessing Impacts of Climate Change on Cereal Production and Food Security in Bangladesh

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Abstract

As a consequence of future climate change, agriculture is likely to be affected, which would also lead to risk of hunger and water resource scarcity with enhanced climate variability. Currently, the estimated population of Bangladesh stands at over 143.4 million and is likely to be 214.6 million in 2050. To keep pace with population growth and shrinking land resource base, the food production needs to be doubled by the year 2020. Cereal production more than doubled in the last 25 years and the production gains were achieved mainly due to yield increases.

A simulation study was conducted to assess the climate change related ­vulnerability of food grain production in Bangladesh. Four climate change scenarios (baseline, GFDL−TR = Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Transient; HadCM2 = Hadley Centre Unified Model2 Transient ensemble and UKTR = UK Met. Office/Hadley Centre Transient) were used. Simulation runs were made for high yield varieties of rice for Aus (March−August), Aman (August−November), and Boro (February−July), the traditional growing seasons, using the CERES-Rice model. Simulation was ­carried out for wheat, which is grown from November through March, using the CERES-Wheat model. The detrimental effect of temperature rise was observed even with elevated CO2 levels. Considerable spatial and temporal variations were also noted. Impact of these changes on food security was also assessed.

Presented at the International Conference on Global Climate Change and Its Effects, held during August 25−30, 2008 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.