Regions with relative high latitudes – China, Russia and the U.S. – could see a significant increase in arable land in coming years, but Africa, Europe and India and South America could lose land area.
Civil and environmental engineering professor Ximing Cai and graduate student Xiao Zhang published their findings in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
While most other studies of climate change and agriculture have focused on projected crop yields, the Illinois researchers assessed global and regional land availability. Using international land and climate datasets and remote-sensing land-use maps, they systematically studied worldwide changes in soil temperature and humidity with a resolution of one square kilometer.
"This study presents the main patterns and trends of the distribution of potential arable land and the possible impacts of climate change from a biophysical perspective," Cai said. "The possible gains and losses of arable land in various regions worldwide may generate tremendous impacts in the upcoming decades upon regional and global agricultural commodity production, demand and trade, as well as on the planning and development of agricultural and engineering infrastructures."
Cai and Zhang’s model allowed them to address the many sources of uncertainty in trying to predict climate change, such as levels of greenhouse gas emissions, climate model uncertainty and ambiguity in land-use classification. They applied the model to several projected scenarios to uncover both regional and global trends in land availability.
When considering effects of climate change, residential sprawl as population grows and natural conservation, the global total of potential arable land in all scenarios decreased by the end of the 21st century, by a margin of 0.8 to 4.4 percent. However, much larger changes were predicted regionally. For example, arable land area could increase by 37 to 67 percent in Russia, while Africa could lose up to 18 percent of its farmland.
"Although the magnitudes of the projected changes vary by scenario, the increasing or decreasing trends in arable land area are regionally consistent," Cai said.
Next, the researchers will conduct more detailed regional studies to confirm their global findings. They hope to use their projections to evaluate world food production, demand and trade, and the corresponding implications for policies and investments.The Energy Bioscience Institute at the U. of I. and the U.S. Department of Agriculture supported this work.
Liz Ahlberg | University of Illinois
Researchers discover natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide
16.07.2018 | UCLA Samueli School of Engineering
Advance warning system via cell phone app: Avoiding extreme weather damage in agriculture
12.07.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences