Submitted to: International Agricultural Engineering Conference (IAEC)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2005
Publication Date: 12/6/2005
Citation: Reddy, V., Anbumozhi, V., Reddy, K.R. 2005. Achieving Food Security and Mitigating Global Environmental Change: Is There a Role for Crop Models in Decision Making? International Agricultural Engineering Conference (IAEC), December 6-9, 2005, Bangkok, Thailand, p. 1-8. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Most of the Earth's carbon-based products, such as food, fiber, fuel and carbon-based chemicals and fresh water supply come from the thin living skin covering the earth's land surface called the terrestrial ecosystem. The earth's thin mantel of soil captures, stores, and releases the water to vegetation, aquifers, streams, and lakes, and provides the major portion of the world’s fresh water supply. Within the next fifty years, human population is projected to double, and economic buying power for carbon-based products could triple. As there are no more unexplored frontiers, this increased demand from our terrestrial ecosystem will have to be met with the existing natural resource base. Added to this is the uncertainty introduced by the future global environmental changes. Potential global environmental changes include atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, temperature, rainfall, and ultraviolet radiation intensity. Extreme weather events such as floods, drought and heat waves are expected to be more common in the changed global climate of the future. In addition, regional increases in soil erosion and atmospheric pollution could also have negative impacts on crop productivity and natural resource base of the planet. With existing scientific knowledge it is impossible to predict how these changes in the global climate may change the productivity of various crops worldwide and overall productivity of the terrestrial ecosystem. One way to deal with the complexity of the system and its impact on crop productivity is to develop and use mechanistic, process level computer models both at the field level and at the ecosystem level. This paper outlines some examples of the development and use of the crop models for various applications to increase crop productivity and to mitigate the harmful effects of adverse environmental variables on natural resources both in the current and in the future changing environment.