AJCC  Vol.2 No.3 A , September 2013
Spatially Explicit Modeling of Long-Term Drought Impacts on Crop Production in Austria

Droughts have serious and widespread impacts on crop production with substantial economic losses. The frequency and severity of drought events may increase in the future due to climate change. We have developed three meteorological drought scenarios for Austria in the period 2008-2040. The scenarios are defined based on a dry day index which is combined with bootstrapping from an observed daily weather dataset of the period 1975-2007. The severity of long-term drought scenarios is characterized by lower annual and seasonal precipitation amounts as well as more significant temperature increases compared to the observations. The long-term impacts of the drought scenarios on Austrian crop production have been analyzed with the biophysical process model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate). Our simulation outputs show thatfor areas with historical mean annual precipitation sums below 850 mmalready slight increases in dryness result in significantly lower crop yields i.e. depending on the drought severity, between 0.6% and 0.9% decreases in mean annual dry matter crop yields per 1.0% decrease in mean annual precipitation sums. The EPIC results of more severe droughts show that spring and summer precipitation may become a limiting factor in crop production even in regions with historical abundant precipitation.

Cite this paper
F. Strauss, E. Moltchanova and E. Schmid, "Spatially Explicit Modeling of Long-Term Drought Impacts on Crop Production in Austria," American Journal of Climate Change, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2013, pp. 1-11. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2013.23A001.
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