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The impacts of higher CO2 concentrations over global crop production and irrigation water requirements

Victor Nechifor and Matthew Winning

No 10487, EcoMod2017 from EcoMod

Abstract: Increases in CO2 atmospheric concentrations are expected to lead to multiple and possibly opposing effects over crop performance.The paper uses a global economic model (RESCU-Water) to analyse the impacts of changes in climatic conditions and CO2 fertilisation on crop output and on the pressure over water resources coming from irrigation. RESCU-Water is built on a Computable General Equilibrium Framework and distinguishes between the rainfed and irrigated production of eight crop classes. Irrigation is introduced as a separate production factor using a novel valuation method.The yield and irrigation water intensity effects employed to map climate change incidence are derived from spatially-detailed crop modelling using multiple climate datasets across to concentration pathways (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). The impacts are analysed for the 2004-2050 timeframe and are measured as deviations from a perfect-mitigation SSP2 baseline. Changes in climatic conditions decrease output and depresses the demand for irrigation, whilst discrepancies between tropical and temperate regions increase with concentration levels. Embedding CO2 fertilisation more than offsets these adverse effects by determining a net increase in crop production and a reduction in irrigation water requirements at a regional level. The resulting water savings potential even in the lower concentrations scenario (RCP2.6) warrant more research with the aim of reducing the uncertainty regarding CO2 fertilisation.

Keywords: Global multi-regional analysis; Energy and environmental policy; General equilibrium modeling (CGE) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D58 Q13 Q25 Q54 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-07-04
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