3 The role of climate in agricultural production and local vulnerabilities
The upcoming chapter is devoted to the discussion of the natural and scientific mechanisms through which climatic variables affect crop production. Although the literature on these mechanisms is rather incomplete as yet, there seems to be sufficient evidence to suggest, that climate change will certainly impact on agricultural productivity and lead to different possible outcomes (CALZADILLA et al., 2010). The upcoming deliberations also analyze the country’s vulnerability to climate change by analyzing historical climate related records. 3.1 Agricultural Production under Climate Change and the response of crop growth Climate change is very likely to affect future crop growth and consequently crop management (KERSEBAUM et al., 2010). In order to understand the mechanisms associated with climate change and crop growth and subsequently crop or agricultural production, it is necessary to first analyze the principle abiotic requirements for plant growth. Besides the gas associated with global warming “carbon dioxide” (CO2) three other factors are primarily important for crop or plant growth, these include sunlight, nutrients and water (WOLFE AND ERICKSON, 1993; HOUGHTON et al., 2001). Figure 3.1 Climate and soil interaction – impacts on crops and livestock Source: MENDELSOHN AND DINAR, 2009 90 Figure 3.1 reveals that every species, be it crop or livestock, has an optimal range in which its growth is maximized. In this regard, the climate ranges sup- optimal and optimal can be distinguished. Certain so called limiting factors such as soil and water can impact the climate-crop relationship and either in case of the existence of a limitation lead...
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