Assessing crop yield simulations with various seasonal climate data

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 9:15 AM
B211 (GWCC)
Dong-Wook Shin, COAPS, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL; and G. A. Baigorria, Y. K. Lim, S. Cocke, T. LaRow, J. J. O'Brien, and J. W. Jones

A comprehensive evaluation of crop yield simulations with various seasonal climate data is performed to improve the current practice of crop yield projections. The El Niņo Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-based historical data are commonly used to predict the upcoming season crop yields over the southeast United States. In this study, eight different seasonal climate data are generated using the combinations of two global models, a regional model, a statistical downscaling technique, and two convective schemes. These data are linked to maize and peanut dynamic models to assess their impacts on crop yield simulations compared to the ENSO-based approach. Improvement of crop yield simulations with the climate model data is varying, depending on the model configuration and the crop type. While the global climate model data provide no improvement, the dynamically and the statistically downscaled data show increased skill in the crop yield simulations. A statistically downscaled operational seasonal climate model shows a statistically significant (5%) interannual predictability in the peanut yield simulation. Since the yield amount simulated by the dynamical crop model is highly sensitive to wet/dry spell sequences (water stresses) during the growing season, a proper parameterization of precipitation physics is essential in climate models to improve the crop yield projection.