Changes in field workability and drought risk from projected climate change drive spatially variable risks in Illinois cropping systems

Bradley J. Tomasek, Martin M. Williams, Adam S. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As weather patterns become more volatile and extreme, risks introduced by weather variability will become more critical to agricultural production. The availability of days suitable for field work is driven by soil temperature and moisture, both of which may be altered by climate change. We projected changes in Illinois season length, spring field workability, and summer drought risk under three different emissions scenarios (B1, A1B, and A2) down to the crop district scale. Across all scenarios, thermal time units increased in parallel with a longer frost-free season. An increase in late March and Early April field workability was consistent across scenarios, but a decline in overall April through May workable days was observed for many cases. In addition, summer drought metrics were projected to increase for most scenarios. These results highlight how the spatial and temporal variability in climate change may present unique challenges to mitigation and adaptation efforts. This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0172301
JournalPloS one
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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