Dr Robin Matthews, Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
As part of the DFID Country Assistance Action Plan 2006-2011, Defra has been leading a project investigating the impacts of climate change on agriculture in China.
The aim of the project is to assess the impacts of climate change on Chinese agriculture, and to build capacity in this area by collaborating with key UK academic and research institutions, one of which is Macaulay Land Use Research Institute. The research work is being carried out by the Agrometeorology Institute, part of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
The project is in two phases. The first phase started in July 2001 and ran until September 2003. The second phase of the project was launched on 2 September 2005 in Beijing, and builds on the work done in Phase I.
A key finding in Phase I was that average temperature in China would increase by 3-4°C by the end of the 21st century, and that the yields of rice, maize and wheat could fall by up to 37% over this period.
In Phase II, coordinated by the Overseas Development Group at the University of East Anglia, more detailed studies will take into account the availability of water resources and socio-economic developments, and will re-assess the impact of CO2 fertilisation on crop yields. Stakeholder involvement will be an important element of the regional study, both in terms of defining the questions to be addressed and in guiding the course of the work.
As part of this project, a visiting scientist from the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture, at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences is expected at Macaulay in the first part of 2008.
- Xiong, W., Matthews, R., Holman, I., Lin, E. & Xu, Y., 2007. Modelling China’s potential maize production at regional scale under climate change. Climatic Change 85(3-4):433-451.
Updated: 24 Apr 2013, Content by: RM