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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATION OF CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND FORECASTS INTO RISK-BASED MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION AND RESOURCE CONSERVATION Title: Simulating Potential Response of Hydrology, Soil Erosion, and Crop Productivity to Climate Change in Changwu Tableland on Southern Loess Plateau of China

Authors
item Zhang, Xunchang
item Liu, Wenzhao - INST. OF SOIL & WTR. CONS

Submitted to: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 18, 2005
Publication Date: July 15, 2005
Citation: Zhang, X.J., Liu, W. 2005. Simulating potential response of hydrology, soil erosion, and crop productivity to climate change in Changwu Tableland on southern Loess Plateau of China. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 131:127-142.

Interpretive Summary: Knowledge of the potential impacts of climate changes on soil erosion is critical to natural resources conservation planning. The goal of this work was to evaluate the potential impacts of three climate change scenarios on soil erosion and surface hydrology in the Changwu tableland region on the southern Loess Plateau of China. Monthly projections for the period of 2070-2099 from the Hadley Centre’s global climate model (GCM) under three greenhouse gas emissions scenarios (A2a, B2a, and GGa1; representing high, low, and intermediate emissions, respectively) were used in this work. The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model was used to predict relative wheat-maize rotation under conventional tillage conservation tillage. Average annual precipitation during 2070-99 at the study site would increase by 23 to 37%, depending on the climate scenarios. Compared with the present climate, predicted percent increases under climate changes ranged from 29 to 79% runoff, 2 to 81% for soil loss, 15 to 44% for wheat yield, 40 to 58% for maize yield, 25 to 28% for crop transpiration, 21 to 34% for soil evaporation, and 4 to 12% for long-term soil water reserve under conventional tillage. Adoption of conservation tillage by delaying tillage to the planting of the next crop could reduce runoff by 18 to 38% and decrease soil loss by 56 to 68% as compared to conventional tillage under the present climate. Results showed that conservation tillage would be sufficient to maintain low runoff and soil loss levels and to protect agro-ecosystems. This work may help soil and natural resources conservationists develop new or adjust existing conservation practices to conserve soil and water resources under climate change.

Technical Abstract: The potential for global climate changes to increase global risk of soil erosion is clear, but quantitative analysis of this risk in particular regions is limited. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential impacts of three climate change scenarios on soil erosion and surface hydrology in the Changwu tableland region on southern Loess Plateau of China. Monthly projections for the period of 2070-2099 from the Hadley Centre’s general circulation model (HadCM3) under three greenhouse gas emissions, respectively) were downloaded and downscaled to daily series using a stochastic weather generator (CLIGEN). The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model was run for each scenario for a common wheat-wheat-maize rotation under conventional tillage and conservation tillage. Average annual precipitation during 2070-99 at the study site would increase by 23 to 37%, depending on the climate scenarios. Compared with the present climate, predicted percent increases under climate changes ranged from 29 to 79% for runoff, 2 to 81% for soil loss, 15 to 44% for wheat yield, 40 to 58% for maize yield, 25 to 28% for crop transpiration, 21 to 34% for soil evaporation, and 4 to 12% for long-term soil water reserve under conventional tillage. Adoption of conservation tillage by delaying tillage to planting of next crop could reduce runoff by 18 to 38% and decrease soil loss by 56 to 68% as compared to conventional tillage under the present climate. Results showed that conservation tillage would be sufficient to maintain low runoff and soil loss levels and to protect agro-ecosystems.

Last Modified: 10/26/2014
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