Climatic Extremes and Food Grain Production in India

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Akarsh A, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, 382, India and Vimal Mishra, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, India
Climate change is likely to affect food and water security in India. India has witnessed tremendous growth in its food production after the green revolution. However, during the recent decades the food grain yields were significantly affected by the extreme climate and weather events. Air temperature and associated extreme events (number of hot days and hot nights, heat waves) increased significantly during the last 50 years in the majority of India. More remarkably, a substantial increase in mean and extreme temperatures was observed during the winter season in India. On the other hand, India witnessed extreme flood and drought events that have become frequent during the past few decades. Extreme rainfall during the non-monsoon season adversely affected the food grain yields and results in tremendous losses in several parts of the country. Here we evaluate the changes in hydroclimatic extremes and its linkage with the food grain production in India. We use observed food grain yield data for the period of 1980-2012 at district level. We understand the linkages between food grain yield and crop phenology obtained from the high resolution leaf area index and NDVI datasets from satellites. We used long-term observed data of daily precipitation and maximum and minimum temperatures to evaluate changes in the extreme events. We use statistical models to develop relationships between crop yields, mean and extreme temperatures for various crops to understand the sensitivity of these crops towards changing climatic conditions. We find that some of the major crop types and predominant crop growing areas have shown a significant sensitivity towards changes in extreme climatic conditions in India.