Mereu, Valentina and Carboni, Gianluca and Gallo, Andrea and Cervigni, Raffaello and Spano, Donatella Emma Ignazia (2015) Impact of climate change on staple food crop production in Nigeria. Climatic Change (in press). ISSN 0165-0009. eISSN 1573-1480. Article.
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Climate change impact on the agricultural sector is expected to be significant and extensive in Sub-Saharan Africa, where projected increase in temperature and changes in precipitation patterns could determine sensible reductions in crop yields and concerns for food security achievement. This study presents a multi-model approach to analysing climate change impacts and associated risks for staple food crops in Nigeria. Previous attempts to evaluate climate change impacts in Nigeria had mainly focused on a reduced number of crops, with analysis limited to single experimental fields or specific areas, and in many cases considering only a limited number of climate models. In this work, crop simulation models implemented in the DSSAT-CSM software were used to evaluate climate change impacts on crop production in different Agro-Ecological Zones, considering multiple combinations of soils and climate conditions, varieties and crop management. The climate impact assessment was made using an ensemble of future climate projections, to include uncertainty related to climate projections. Even if precipitations could increase in most parts of Nigeria, this is not likely to offset the crop yield reduction due to the increase in temperatures, particularly over the medium-term period (2050), with yield decreases projected especially for cereals. The short-term effects are more uncertain and yields for cassava and millet might actually increase by 2020. Moreover, yield reductions are only partially mitigated by the direct effect of increased CO2 atmospheric concentration enhancing crop yield. In both periods and for all crops, there is a higher risk that crop yields may fall below the actual risk threshold.
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