or even centuries into the future. At present, 25 GCMs and 12climate change scenarios are freely available and publishedby the IPCC (see Table 1). These
climate change scenarios
encompass reasonable assumptions of anticipated emissionsresulting from individual or organizational behavior. They havebeen grouped by the IPCC in so-called SRES (Special Report onEmissions Scenarios) emission families according to the fourthAssessment Report published by the IPCC. At the top end of the scenarios (mean increase of 5.8 °C), extreme growth in CO
emissions is assumed, combined with very high sensitivity of climate to greenhouse gases, more than what is consistent withthe observed 20th-century warming. Likewise, scenarios atthe low end (mean increase of 1.8 °C) are probably unrealisticwithout signi
cant policy efforts (IPCC 2007).Analyzing global multimodel data sets or ensemble dataof projected patterns of precipitation and temperature changesshows clearly that an increase in the amount of precipitationis very likely in high latitudes, while decreases are likely inmost subtropical land regions, continuing observed patternsin recent trends. For regional agricultural impact assessmentsas well as hydrological impact assessments, the resolution of GCMs, however, is insuf
cient. Practical approaches such asempirical statistical downscaling, stochastic weather genera-tors, and particularly dynamic regional climate models can bebasically applied to increase the spatial resolution of GCMs.Regional climate models (RCM) such as PRECIS—appliedby the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)—can de-liver high-resolution agro-meteorological data with horizontalresolutions of up to 25 km on a daily basis. On the other hand,simpler approaches such as empirical statistical downscalingare available. These methods use environmental correlations todisaggregate large climate variations into small-scale climatepatterns.This paper attempts to give a brief overview of differentapproaches to assess climate change, including their uncertain-ties. The paper has two parts, the presentations of (1) a GCM“ensemble analysis” through two case studies of rainfed riceenvironments and (2) seasonal forecasting as a tool for forecast-ing extreme climate events such as drought. Additionally, wediscuss some impacts of major climate change stresses, namely,drought, on crop production and show adaptation options as wellas options for raising productivity for unfavorable rice environ-ments under a changing climate.
Table 1. Benchmark sites for irrigated (IR) and rainfed (RF) ricecrops.Benchmark siteFirst ricecropSecond ricecrop
Cuttack, eastern IndiaRF (May toOct.)RF (Dec. toMay)(20º16´N, 85º31´E)Rangpur, northwest BangladeshRF (June toNov.)IR (Feb. toJune)(25º45´N, 89º15´E)
Fig. 1. Spatial distribution of rainfed rice areas in South, Southeast,and East Asia on the basis of FAO and IIASA’s Global AgroecologicalZone Assessment (for a more detailed description, see Monfredaet al 2008). Table 2. General circulation models (GCM) used and their maincharacteristics.
AcronymNameSourceResolutionBCCR-BCM 2.0Bergen ClimateModelNansenEnvironmentaland RemoteSensing Center,Norway 1.9º × 1.9ºCGCM3.1(T47)Coupled GlobalClimate ModelCanadianCentre for Cli-mate Modeling and Analysis,Canada~3.75º × 3.75ºCSIRO-Mk 3.5CSIRO Mark 3.0CSIRO Divisionof Marine and AtmosphericResearch, Australia~1.9º × 1.9º
Continued on page 7.
GCM ensemble analysis for assessing long-term trends
Materials and methods
Figure 1 shows the distribution of rainfed rice agriculture inSouth, Southeast, and East Asia (Monfreda et al 2008) and twobenchmark sites with irrigated (IR) and rainfed (RF) rice cropsare listed in Table 1. A projection of future climate, climatechange, and its impact on unfavorable rice environments wasconducted by using ensemble models, including all the globalclimate models listed in Table 2.The main focus for this paper is the analysis of tworainfed rice production sites (see Table 1) with different rawGCM outputs of the 1% to 2x scenario. This scenario re
ects atransient climate response to a 1% per year increase in CO
con-centration of the atmosphere. The CO
concentration increases(starting from 348 ppmv) with a 1% per year compound rate