DATE2019-01-08 12:44:24
AUTHORSMladen Todorovic (1)|Piero Lionello (3)|Luis S. Pereira (4)|Claudia Pizzigalli (2)|Sameh Saadi (1)|Lazar Tanasijevic (1)
  1. CIHEAM, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute , Bari, Italy
  2. SAIPEM S.p.A., Ocean Engineering Department, Fano, Italy
  3. DiSTeBA, University of Salento and CMCC, Lecce, Italy
  4. CEER, Universidade de Lisboa, Libon, Portugal
ABSTRACTThis contribution reports on studies that have carried out within the WASSERMED EU-FP6 project and aims at estimating impacts of climate change on water demand and yields of Mediterranean crops (winter wheat, tomato and olive). High resolution climate data (derived from the ENSEMBLES Regional Climate Models outputs and based on the A1B emission scenario) were arranged to represent the mean climate conditions in years 1991-2010 and 2036-2065 and describe climate change over a 50-years span, during which an overall reduction of annual precipitation an increase of near surface air temperature are expected. As consequence of such changed climate conditions, net irrigation requirements for olives may increase substantially (particularly in Southern Spain), while actual evapo-transpiration of rainfed olives would decrease in most areas due to reduced water availability. Therefore it will not be possible to keep rainfed olives production as it is at present. The potentially cultivable areas of winter wheat and tomato may substantially increase prevalently in the Northern Mediterranean countries. Due to anticipation and shortening of growing season, the net irrigation requirements under optimal water supply may decrease for both wheat and tomato. As a whole, a slight increase of relative yield losses is expected for rainfed wheat, particularly in the Northern Mediterranean, while, for tomato they are not expected to change. Because of the foreseen precipitation decrease (especially relevant for winter-spring crops), the adoption of supplemental irrigation for winter wheat could become more widespread also in the northern Mediterranean countries. In general, the overall effects of climate change on water demand could even be positive whereas the effects on yield should be seen within a complex scenario, that includes the combination of different strategies considering the starting of growing season, the selection of most adequate varieties (short or long maturing), and adopted locally-tailored (water, land and nutrient) management practices.