15 Combining Surface Climate and Satellite Vegetation Data to Understand Agricultural Productivity in China

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
You Wu, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China; and X. Z. Liang

Food security exists all the times when people have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. According to UN projections, global population will reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion by 2050. World population growth leads to pressures on environment, global food security and energy resources. Agricultural productivity, hunger, poverty, and sustainability have strong and direct relationships. Improvements in agricultural productivity will benefit the rural poor.

Agricultural productivity is affected by climate change and global warming. Extreme events, such as floods and droughts, are increasing. There will have a range of effects on agricultural sector, including changing productivity and livelihood patterns, economic losses, and effects on infrastructure, markets and food security. Food security will be linked to the ability to adapt agricultural systems to extreme events in future.

Food security is a critical issue in China where only 7% of the world’s arable land is available to feed 22% of the world’s population. China is the most populous country and a major emitter of greenhouse gases. A variety of studies have focused on China’s influence on climate change, but lack of consensus regarding the overall impacts of climate change on China’s agricultural production. No study has shown a clear assessment of climate impacts on China’s agricultural productivity and ability to feed its people. Access to publically available data of agricultural production matters. Most data is available at national or province level and not helpful for decision making at local level.

This study will demonstrate how surface climate data can be combined with satellite leaf area index data to understand the productivity of regional agricultural systems and discuss the sustainability of them in the future. Climate affects agriculture regionally, depending not only on local weather factors but also on specific crops, livestock, and related goods and services, as well as agricultural systems, infrastructures, and interventions. We use national level crop yield and remote sensing land cover such as leaf area index to identify regions where the climate variations play a major role. These are major agricultural responsive regions where food production is critical to addressing sustainability in a changing climate. We will provide an integrated assessment by linking regional climate effects to national economic outcomes, offering a better understanding of the managed and unmanaged responses of crops to climate changes and a more objective resource for policy making.

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