Using the CLM Crop Model to assess the impacts of changes in Climate, Atmospheric CO2, Irrigation, Fertilizer and Geographic Distribution on Historical and Future Crop Yields

Monday, 14 December 2015: 08:15
3005 (Moscone West)
Peter Lawrence, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States
Since the start of the green revolution global crop yields have increased linearly for most major cereal crops, so that present day global values are around twice those of the 1960s. The increase in crop yields have allowed for large increases in global agricultural production without correspondingly large increases in cropping area. Future projections under the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP) framework and other assessments result in increases of global crop production of greater than 100% by the year 2050. In order to meet this increased agricultural demand within the available arable land, future production gains need to be understood in terms of the yield changes due to changes in climate, atmospheric CO2, and adaptive management such as irrigation and fertilizer application. In addition to the changes in crop yield, future agricultural demand will need to be met through increasing cropping areas into what are currently marginal lands at the cost of existing forests and other natural ecosystems.

In this study we assess the utility of the crop model within the Community Land Model (CLM Crop) to provide both historical and future guidance on changes in crop yields under a range of global idealized crop modeling experiments. The idealized experiments follow the experimental design of the AgMIP Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison (GGCMI) in which CLM Crop is a participating model. The idealized experiments consist of global crop simulations for Cotton, Maize, Rice, Soy, Sugarcane, and Wheat under various climate, atmospheric CO2 levels, irrigation prescription, and nitrogen fertilizer application. The time periods simulated for the experiments are for the Historical period (1901 – 2005), and for the two Representative Concentration Pathways of RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 (2006 – 2100). Each crop is simulated on all land grid cells globally for each time period with atmospheric forcing that is a combination of: 1. transient climate and CO2; 2. transient climate and constant CO2; and 3. constant climate and CO2. To assess the role of management in each of these configurations the crops are simulated as: 1. Rainfed with no N fertilizer; 2. Rainfed with N fertilizer; 3. Irrigated with no N fertilizer; and 4. Irrigated with N fertilizer.