Simulation of climate change impacts on selected crop yields in southern Alberta

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Langhorn, Colin
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography
AquaCrop is a crop water productivity model that simulates crop yield response to water in various geographical locations. Parameterizing the crop model to specific local conditions can be difficult without detailed crop parameters. On the Canadian prairies there are many different varieties of barley, canola and wheat with measured crop parameters, grown in both irrigated and rainfed agriculture. The objectives of this study were to calibrate selected crop parameters for historical observed yields in southern Alberta using a grid search calibration method for both irrigated and rainfed conditions, and simulate future crop yields using five regional climate model (RCM) projections. The grid search calibration method was successful in parameterizing AquaCrop for barley, canola, and wheat yields for two areas in southern Alberta, thus a realistic assessment of climate change impacts could be performed. All five RCMs indicated increases in crop yields coupled with a strong simulated CO2 fertilization effect.
AquaCrop crop modelling software , climate change , irrigated crop projections , rainfed crop projections , regional climate model , southern Alberta