Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Agricultural irrigation requirements under future climate scenarios in China


Projecting future water demand, especially in terms of agricultural irrigation demand, as well as identifying high-risk areas and establishing appropriate water demand management has become increasingly important in China. Climate scenarios provide opportunities to predict future irrigation requirements (IRs). We examined changes in IRs and agricultural drought in response to rising greenhouse gas concentrations in China using eight global climate models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. In this research, Northeast China, the North China Plain and the Yarlung Tsangpo River Valley area in southeastern Tibet were estimated to receive more precipitation in the future, whereas Southeast and Northwest China, especially the Junggar and Tarim basins in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, will receive less precipitation. IRs will undergo a significant increase in summer (June–August), especially in July, whereas the smallest increase was predicted to occur in autumn (September–November). Middle rice was identified as the greatest contributor to the increase in total IRs. The areas predicted to experience significant increases in IRs include Northwest China (the Tarim and Junggar basins in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the Hexi Corridor in Gansu province and the Guanzhong Plain in Shaanxi province), Southeast China (especially Fujian province), and Southwest China (Yarlung Tsangpo River Valley area in Tibet and the Sichuan Basin).


agricultural drought; water demand; agricultural irrigation requirement; climate change; IPCC scenarios

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