Constraints and potentials of future irrigation water availability on agricultural production under climate change

Joshua Elliott, Delphine Deryng, Christoph Müller, Katja Frieler, Markus Konzmann, Dieter Gerten, Michael Glotter, Martina Flörke, Yoshihide Wada, Neil Best, Stephanie Eisner, Balázs M. Fekete, Christian Folberth, Ian Foster, Simon N. Gosling, Ingjerd Haddeland, Nikolay Khabarov, Fulco Ludwig, Yoshimitsu Masaki, Stefan OlinCynthia Rosenzweig, Alex C. Ruane, Yusuke Satoh, Erwin Schmid, Tobias Stacke, Qiuhong Tang, Dominik Wisser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

745 Scopus citations

Abstract

We compare ensembles of water supply and demand projections from 10 global hydrological models and six global gridded crop models. These are produced as part of the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project, with coordination from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project, and driven by outputs of general circulation models run under representative concentration pathway 8.5 as part of the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. Models project that direct climate impacts to maize, soybean, wheat, and rice involve losses of 400- 1,400 Pcal (8-24% of present-day total) when CO2 fertilization effects are accounted for or 1,400-2,600 Pcal (24-43%) otherwise. Freshwater limitations in some irrigated regions (western United States; China; and West, South, and Central Asia) could necessitate the reversion of 20-60 Mha of cropland from irrigated to rainfed management by end-of-century, and a further loss of 600-2,900 Pcal of food production. In other regions (northern/eastern United States, parts of South America, much of Europe, and South East Asia) surplus water supply could in principle support a net increase in irrigation, although substantial investments in irrigation infrastructure would be required.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3239-3244
Number of pages6
JournalPROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Volume111
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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