Submitted to: World Resource Review
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 20, 2005
Publication Date: August 15, 2005
Citation: Zhang, X.J. 2005. Simulating regional impacts of climate change on water resource, erosion, and wheat production using cligen and wepp models. World Resource Review. 17(3):335-349. Interpretive Summary: Knowledge of potential impacts of climate changes on natural resources is critical to conservation planning. The goal of this study was to simulate the regional impacts of climate change on water resources, soil erosion, and wheat production in central Oklahoma using the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) computer model and a weather generation program (CLIGEN). Climate changes, projected for 2070-2099 using the U.K. Hadley Centre’s computer climate model (HadCM3) under the high (A2a), low (B2a), and intermediate (GGa1) CO2 emissions scenarios, were used. The WEPP model was run for each climate scenario in three tillage systems. The HadCM3 model predicted a general decline in annual precipitation in the region over the century. As a result of precipitation reduction, predicted plant evaporation, soil evaporation, and the long-term soil water reserve were reduced in all three climate change scenarios. However, the decreases in rainfall did not necessarily result in reductions in wheat yields, largely because most precipitation decreases were predicted in the non-growing season. About a 1% decrease in wheat yields was predicted for scenarios A2a and B2a, while a 6% increase was predicted for GGa1 scenario. Regarding soil erosion, the results indicated a possibility of increased erosion despite the predicted decrease in annual precipitation due to the predicted increases in precipitation daily intensity. However, simulated results suggest the no-till system is sufficient to maintain low erosion levels in the region.