Impacts of Changes in Regional Rainfall-Distribution Patterns on Winter Agriculture in Israel
According to climate models, the steady accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is expected to cause global warming and variations in precipitation distribution over the globe. Since 1750 the concentration of CO2 has increased by 31%, currently rising at a rate of about 0.4% per year. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Impacts adaptation and vulnerability, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001) estimates a consequential increase of 1.4–5.8°C in the global average surface temperature during the period between 1990 and 2100. During the twenty-first century, the average precipitation is expected to increase in most of the world. However, simulation models seem to concur that in the Mediterranean basin, rainfall is about to decline. Israel is located in the eastern part of the basin – an area with extraordinary sensitivity to climate changes due to the confluence of several different climates, particularly the cold, rainy European climate in the north and the subtropic African conditions in the south. Recent studies focusing on Israeli climate have identified an increase in the frequency of extreme temperatures, as well as in extreme weather events. Ben-Gai et al. (Theor Appl Appl Climatol, 6164, 163–177, 1999a) found considerable spatial variations in the annual precipitation distribution. We demonstrate in this chapter the impact of such change in the distribution on the winter agricultural sector in Israel.
KeywordsWater Price Deep Percolation Winter Crop Supplemental Irrigation Summer Crop
We acknowledge the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) in Kyoto, Japan, and the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Germany, for providing partial financial support under the GLOWA-JR project; thanks go to Mordechai Shechter for valuable comments.
- Adams, R. M., McCarl, B. A., Segerson, K., Rosenzwieg, C., Bryant, K. J., Dixon, B. L., Conner, R., Evenson, R. E., & Ojima, D. (1999). Economic effects of climate changes on US agriculture. In R. Mendelson & J. E. Neuman (Eds.), The impact of climate change on the United States economy (pp. 18–55). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Alpert, P. (2001). The greenhouse effect and its impact on the climate of Israel. Studies in Natural Resources and Environmental Management, 1, 15–28 (Hebrew with English abstract).Google Scholar
- Alpert, P., Ben-Gai, T., Baharad, A., Benjamini, Y., Yakutieli, D., Colacino, M., Diodato, L., Ramis, C., Homar, V., Romero, R., Michalides, S., & Manes, A. (2002). The paradoxical increase of Mediterranean extreme daily rainfall in spite of decrease in total values. Geophysical Research Letters, 29, 31–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Dayan, U., & Koch, J. (1999). Mediterranean action plan. Athens: UNEP. Implications of climate change on the coastal region of Israel.Google Scholar
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (2001). Impacts adaptation and vulnerability. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Kan, I., Schwabe, K. A., & Knapp, K. C. (2002). Microeconomics of irrigation with saline water. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 27, 16–39.Google Scholar
- Letey, J., & Dinar, A. (1986). Simulated crop-water production functions for several crops when irrigated with saline waters. Hilgardia, 54, 1–32.Google Scholar
- Mass, E.V. (1990). Salinity laboratory, Retrieved October 2005: http://www.ussl.ars.usda.gov/saltoler.htm.
- Mendelsohn, R., Nordhaus, W. D., & Shaw, D. (1994). The impact of global warming on agriculture: A Ricardian analysis. American Economic Review, 84, 754–771.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. (2000). Vegetables cost studies. Rishon-Lezion: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.Google Scholar
- Palutikof, J. P., Gou, X., & Wigley, T. M. L. (1996). Developing climate change scenarios for the Mediterranean region. In L. Jeftic, J. C. Pernetta, & S. Keckes (Eds.), Climate change and the Mediterranean (pp. 27–56). London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
- Tol, R. S. J., Fankhauser, S., Kuik, O. J., & Smith, J. B. (2003). Recent economic insights into the impacts of climate change. In C. Giupponi & M. Shechter (Eds.), Climate change in the Mediterranean (pp. 15–31). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
- Tzmudot Information and Management LTD (2002). Field-crops cost studies. Israel: Tzmudot Information and Management LTD (in Hebrew), Tel Aviv.Google Scholar