Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Warming means rain but no crop boost for northeast China

Emma Graham-Harrison in Reuters: Climate change is likely to bring more rain to China's northeastern bread basket, but too late in the year to benefit crops, seriously threatening a major region for wheat, corn and rice, a report said on Tuesday. Climate change-driven water scarcity in the country's northeast could lop up to 12 percent off forecast average crop yields. Droughts are exacerbated by limited irrigation in an area that has historically had fairly reliable water supplies but is already losing millions of tonnes of potential grain production a year from shortages.

The report, "From bread basket to dust bowl" highlights how complicated the impact of climate change may be in many areas, and also the threats it poses to China's food supplies. Many models of warming driven by greenhouse gases suggest northeast China may get more rain and a longer growing season.

But this report, prepared with leading Chinese experts on climate change and farming, suggests such changes may not bring bigger yields -- at least, not without major spending to counter shifting and increasingly erratic rain patterns….

A harvest in China, region unknown, shot by Steve Evans, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

No comments: