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Climatic Change

, Volume 108, Issue 1–2, pp 261–289 | Cite as

Expected changes in agroclimatic conditions in Central Europe

  • Miroslav TrnkaEmail author
  • Josef Eitzinger
  • Daniela Semerádová
  • Petr Hlavinka
  • Jan Balek
  • Martin Dubrovský
  • Gerhard Kubu
  • Petr Štěpánek
  • Sabina Thaler
  • Martin Možný
  • Zdeněk Žalud
Article

Abstract

During the past few decades, the basic assumption of agroclimatic zoning, i.e., that agroclimatic conditions remain relatively stable, has been shattered by ongoing climate change. The first aim of this study was to develop a tool that would allow for effective analysis of various agroclimatic indicators and their dynamics under climate change conditions for a particular region. The results of this effort were summarized in the AgriClim software package, which provides users with a wide range of parameters essential for the evaluation of climate-related stress factors in agricultural crop production. The software was then tested over an area of 114,000 km2 in Central Europe. We have found that by 2020, the combination of increased air temperature and changes in the amount and distribution of precipitation will lead to a prolonged growing season and significant shifts in the agroclimatic zones in Central Europe; in particular, the areas that are currently most productive will be reduced and replaced by warmer but drier conditions in the same time the higher elevations will most likely experience improvement in their agroclimatic conditions. This positive effect might be short-lived, as by 2050, even these areas might experience much drier conditions than observed currently. Both the rate and the scale of the shift are amazing as by 2020 (assuming upper range of the climate change projections) only 20–38% of agriculture land in the evaluated region will remain in the same agroclimatic and by 2050 it might be less than 2%. On the other hand farmers will be able to take advantage of an earlier start to the growing season, at least in the lowland areas, as the proportion of days suitable for sowing increases. As all of these changes might occur within less than four decades, these issues could pose serious adaptation challenges for farmers and governmental policies. The presented results also suggest that the rate of change might be so rapid that the concept of static agroclimatic zoning itself might lose relevance due to perpetual change.

Keywords

Czech Republic Snow Cover Climate Change Scenario Frost Damage Shuttle Radar Topography Mission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Further Reading

  1. For free experimental copy of AgriClim program please write to: mirek_trnka@yahoo.com

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miroslav Trnka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Josef Eitzinger
    • 2
  • Daniela Semerádová
    • 1
  • Petr Hlavinka
    • 1
  • Jan Balek
    • 1
  • Martin Dubrovský
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gerhard Kubu
    • 2
  • Petr Štěpánek
    • 4
  • Sabina Thaler
    • 2
  • Martin Možný
    • 4
  • Zdeněk Žalud
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Agrosystems and BioclimatologyMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Institute for MeteorologyUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life SciencesViennaAustria
  3. 3.Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsCzech Academy of SciencesPragueCzech Republic
  4. 4.Czech Hydrometeorological InstitutePragueCzech Republic

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