Impacts of Climate Change and Adaptation Stategies for Rainfed Barley Production in the Almería Province, Spain

Saretto, Francesco, Roy, Bishwajit, Encarnacao Coelho, Ricardo, Reder, Alfredo, Fedele, Giusy, Oakes, Robert, Brandimarte, Luigia and Capela Lourenco, Tiago, (2024). Impacts of Climate Change and Adaptation Stategies for Rainfed Barley Production in the Almería Province, Spain. Atmosphere, 15(5), 606-n/a

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    Author Saretto, Francesco
    Roy, Bishwajit
    Encarnacao Coelho, Ricardo
    Reder, Alfredo
    Fedele, Giusy
    Oakes, Robert
    Brandimarte, Luigia
    Capela Lourenco, Tiago
    Title Impacts of Climate Change and Adaptation Stategies for Rainfed Barley Production in the Almería Province, Spain
    Appearing in Atmosphere
    Volume 15
    Issue No. 5
    Publication Date 2024-05-16
    Place of Publication Basel
    Publisher Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Start page 606
    End page n/a
    Language eng
    Abstract Mediterranean water-stressed areas face significant challenges from higher temperatures and increasingly severe droughts. We assess the effect of climate change on rainfed barley production in the aridity-prone province of Almería, Spain, using the FAO AquaCrop model. We focus on rainfed barley growth by the mid-century (2041–2070) and end-century (2071–2100) time periods, using three Shared Socio-economic Pathway (SSP)-based scenarios: SSP1-2.6, SSP2-4.5, and SSP5-8.5. Using the paired t-test, Spearman and Pearson correlation coefficient, Root Mean Squared Error, and relative Root Mean Squared Error, we verified AquaCrop’s ability to capture local multi-year trends (9 or more years) using standard barley crop parameters, without local recalibration. Starting with a reference Initial Soil Water Content (ISWC), different soil water contents within barley rooting depth were modelled to account for decreases in soil water availability. We then evaluated the efficiency of different climate adaptation strategies: irrigation, mulching, and changing sowing dates. We show average yield changes of +14% to −44.8% (mid-century) and +12% to −55.1% (end-century), with ISWC being the main factor determining yields. Irrigation increases yields by 21.1%, utilizing just 3% of Almería’s superficial water resources. Mulches improve irrigated yield performances by 6.9% while reducing irrigation needs by 40%. Changing sowing dates does not consistently improve yields. We demonstrate that regardless of the scenario used, climate adaptation of field barley production in Almería should prioritize limiting soil water loss by combining irrigation with mulching. This would enable farmers in Almería’s northern communities to maintain their livelihoods, reducing the province’s reliance on horticulture while continuing to contribute to food security goals.
    Keyword Climate change adaptation
    Soil water content
    AquaCrop model
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2024
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.3390/atmos15050606
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    Created: Thu, 23 May 2024, 16:25:58 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS