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Assessing climate change impacts on pearl millet under arid and semi-arid environments using CSM-CERES-Millet model

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Climate change adversely affects food security all over the world, especially in developing countries where the increasing population is confronting food insecurity and malnutrition. Crop models can assist stakeholders for assessment of climate change in current and future agricultural production systems. The aim of this study was to use of system analysis approach through CSM-CERES-Millet model to quantify climate change and its impact on pearl millet under arid and semi-arid climatic conditions of Punjab, Pakistan. Calibration and evaluation of CERES-Millet were performed with the field observations for pearl millet hybrid 86M86. Mid-century (2040–2069) climate change scenarios for representative concentration pathway (RCP) 4.5 and RCP 8.5 were generated based on an ensemble of selected five general circulation models (GCMs). The model was calibrated with optimum treatment (15-cm plant spacing and 200 kg N ha−1) using field observations on phenology, growth and grain yield. Thereafter, pearl millet cultivar was evaluated with remaining treatments of plant spacing and nitrogen during 2015 and 2016 in Faisalabad and Layyah. The CERES-Millet model was calibrated very well and predicted the grain yield with 1.14% error. Model valuation results showed that there was a close agreement between the observed and simulated values of grain yield with RMSE ranging from 172 to 193 kg ha−1. The results of future climate scenarios revealed that there would be an increase in Tmin (2.8 °C and 2.9 °C, respectively, for the semi-arid and arid environment) and Tmax (2.5 °C and 2.7 °C, respectively, for the semi-arid and arid environment) under RCP4.5. For RCP8.5, there would be an increase of 4 °C in Tmin for the semi-arid and arid environment and an increase of 3.7 °C and 3.9 °C in Tmax, respectively, for the semi-arid and arid environment. The impacts of climate changes showed that pearl millet yield would be reduced by 7 to 10% under RCPs 4.5 and 8.5 in Faisalabad and 10 to 13% in Layyah under RCP 4.5 and 8.5 for mid-century. So, CSM-CERES-Millet is a useful tool in assessing the climate change impacts.

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The first author (Asmat Ullah, acknowledges the support of field staff of Agronomic Research Station, Karor (Layyah) & Land Utilization Office Staff, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan, who helped in the execution of research experiments. Ullah, A. is thankful to Pioneer Pakistan Seed Limited for timely supply of pearl millet seed (86M86). Heartfelt thanks to affiliated faculty, K. Grace Crummer (Coordinator) and other staff at the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS), University of Florida, Gainesville, USA for their help from time to time. The author is also grateful to the Higher Education Commission, Government of Pakistan for the award of fellowship to visit the University of Florida, USA. We are thankful to the anonymous reviewers, responsible editor and editorial staff for quick response in processing this manuscript successfully.

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Correspondence to Ahmad Ishfaq.

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Ullah, A., Ahmad, I., Ahmad, A. et al. Assessing climate change impacts on pearl millet under arid and semi-arid environments using CSM-CERES-Millet model. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 6745–6757 (2019).

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