Volume 147, Issue 741 p. 4454-4467
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Modelled changes in selected agroclimatic indices over the croplands of western Canada under the RCP8.5 scenario

Richard Y. K. Agyeman

Richard Y. K. Agyeman

Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Contribution: Data curation, ​Investigation, Methodology, Writing - original draft

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Fei Huo

Fei Huo

Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Contribution: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, ​Investigation, Methodology, Visualization, Writing - original draft, Writing - review & editing

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Zhenhua Li

Zhenhua Li

Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Contribution: Conceptualization, Formal analysis, ​Investigation, Writing - review & editing

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Yanping Li

Corresponding Author

Yanping Li

Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Correspondence

Y. Li, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5C8, Canada.

Email: [email protected]

Contribution: Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, ​Investigation, Resources, Supervision, Writing - review & editing

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First published: 12 October 2021
Citations: 1
Funding information Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); Global Water Futures.

Abstract

To assess the potential change in agroclimatic indices in western Canada, this study used a convection-permitting Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) model to conduct simulations for the current climate (CTL, 2000–2015) and future climate under the RCP8.5 scenario based on a pseudo-global-warming (PGW) approach. Both CTL and PGW simulations were bias-corrected to the GEM-CaPA dataset using a multivariate quantile mapping method. An evaluation of the CTL simulation of daily maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation during the growing season against the gridded observations has been performed, indicating good agreements in the spatial patterns of air temperature and precipitation in western Canada. The PGW − CTL differences in several selected agroclimatic indices were then examined. Due to rising temperatures, substantial increases in growing degree-days (GDD) by 800–1,200° days and reductions in frost days by 10 to 20 days, favouring regional crop production, are found in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. However, global warming also poses great risks to Canadian agriculture by modifying heat accumulations and water availability during the growing season. Plant heat stress will substantially increase by ∼50° days in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, offsetting the positive effects caused by the reduction in frost days and increase in GDD. The southern Canadian Prairies will experience statistically significant increases in the number of dry days and precipitation deficit, suggesting an exacerbation of water stress on the Canadian Prairies by global warming.

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