Climatic Change

, Volume 60, Issue 1–2, pp 99–129 | Cite as

Spatial Scale Effects of Climate Scenarios on Simulated Cotton Production in the Southeastern U.S.A.

  • Ruth M. Doherty
  • Linda O. Mearns
  • K. Raja Reddy
  • Mary W. Downton
  • Larry McDaniel


We examine the effect of climate scenarios generated using results from climate models of different spatial resolution on yields simulated by the deterministic cotton model GOSSYM for the southeastern U.S.A. Two related climate change scenarios were used: a coarse-scale scenario produced from results of a general circulation model (GCM) which also provided the boundary conditions to a regional climate model (RCM), from which a fine-scale scenario was constructed. Cotton model simulations were performed for three cases: climate change alone; climate change and elevatedCO2; climate change, elevated CO2 and adaptations to climate change. In general, significant differences in state-average projected yield changes between the coarse and fine-scale scenarios are found for these three cases. In the first two cases, different directions of change are found in some sub-regions. With adaptation, yields substantially increase for both climate scenarios, but more so for the coarse-scale scenario (30%domain-average increase). Under irrigation, yield change differences between the two climate scenarios are small in all three cases, and yields are higher under irrigation (∼ 35% domain-average increase with adaptation case) compared to dryland conditions. For the climate change alone case, differences in summer water-stress levels explain the contrasts in dryland yield patterns between the coarse and fine-scale climate scenarios.


Climate Change General Circulation Model Regional Climate Model Change Scenario Climate Change Scenario 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth M. Doherty
    • 1
  • Linda O. Mearns
    • 1
  • K. Raja Reddy
    • 2
  • Mary W. Downton
    • 1
  • Larry McDaniel
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental and Societal Impacts GroupNational Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of Plant and Soil SciencesMississippi State UniversityU.S.A

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