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Keywords:

  • climate;
  • crop growth simulation;
  • general circulation models;
  • rainfed-wheat yield

Abstract

Projecting agricultural crop, such as bread wheat, yield under future climate plays a vital role in planning for supply and demand, especially in developing countries. The objective of this study was to investigate impacts of climate change on grain yield of rainfed wheat in the Kashafrood basin situated in northeastern Iran. Climate projections of two General Circulation Models (HadCM3 and CGCM2) under two climate change scenarios (A2 and B2) were employed in this study. A statistical downscaling method was employed for developing the quantitative relationship between large-scale atmospheric variables (predictors) and local variables (observations), also daily climatological parameters performed by the LARS-WG5 stochastic weather generator, the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) Version 4.5 adjusted to evaluate rainfed wheat performance. Results of this study represented substantial difference between GCM models and scenarios for wheat yield in the study area. The A2 scenario indicated more negative impact on wheat yield than the B2 using both GCM models. Highest increase and decrease of grain yield in comparison with the baseline belongs to the 2010–2039 period (+15%) using the HadCM3 model under the B2 scenario and the HadCM3 model under A2 in the 2040–2069 period (−50%), respectively. In general, growth period length indicated a markedly decreasing trend in both periods. There were strong relations between wheat yield and precipitation rate and growth period length in this study. Copyright © 2011 Royal Meteorological Society