Economics of downscaled climate-induced changes in cropland, with projections to 2050: evidence from Yolo County California
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This article establishes quantitative relationships between the evolution of climate and cropland using daily climate data for a century and data on allocation of land across crops for six decades in a specific agro-climatic region of California. These relationships are applied to project how climate scenarios reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change would drive cropland patterns into 2050. Projections of warmer winters, particularly from 2035 to 2050, cause lower wheat area and more alfalfa and tomato area. Only marginal changes in area were projected for tree and vine crops, in part because although lower, chill hours remain above critical values.
Funding for this research came from a grant from the California Energy Commission and the U.C. Agricultural Issues Center. We thank Louise Jackson for help throughout the project. Nathan Hendricks provided able research assistance. Lee and Sumner are both members of the U.C. Giannini Foundation.
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