RegCM4: Model description and preliminary tests over multiple CORDEX domains

Climate Research (Impact Factor: 2.71). 01/2011; 936:577X. DOI: 10.3354/cr01018
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    Theoretical and Applied Climatology 09/2014; · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adoption of conservation agriculture (CA) is increasingly being promoted as a way of adapting agricultural systems to increasing climate variability, especially for areas such as southern Africa where rainfall is projected to decrease. The DSSAT crop simulation models can be a valuable tool in evaluating the effects of CA which are viable both economically and environmentally. Our objectives were: (1) to evaluate the ability of DSSAT to predict continuous maize (Zea mays L.) yield for conventional tillage (CT) and CA systems as well as maize yield for a CA maize–cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) rotation on an Oxic rhodustalf (2) to use DSSAT to project weather effect of climate change on yield, economic returns and risk in CT and CA systems. The DSSAT model was calibrated using data from 2007–2008 season and validated against independent data sets of yield of 2008–2009 to 2011–2012 seasons. Simulations of maize yields were conducted on projected future weather data from 2010 to 2030 that was generated by RegCM4 using the A1B scenario. The DSSAT model calibration and validation showed that it could be used for decision-making to choose specific CA practices especially for no-till and crop residue retention. Long term simulations showed that maize–cowpea rotation gave 451 kg ha�1 and 1.62 kg mm�1 rain more maize grain yield and rain water productivity, respectively compared with CT. On the other hand, CT (3131–5023 kg ha�1) showed larger variation in yield than both CA systems (3863 kg ha�1 and 4905 kg ha�1). CT and CA systems gave 50% and 10% cumulative probability of obtaining yield below the minimum acceptable limit of 4000 kg ha�1 respectively suggesting that CA has lower probability of low yield than CT, thus could be preferred by risk-averse farmers in uncertain climatic conditions. Using similar reasoning, Mean-Gini Dominance analysis showed the dominancy of maize–cowpea rotation and indicated it as the most efficient management system. This study therefore suggests that CA, especially when all three principles are practiced by smallholders in the medium altitude of Lilongwe and similar areas, has the potential to adapt the maize based systems to climate change. Use of DSSAT simulation of the effects of CA was successful for no-till and crop residue retention, but poor for crop rotation. Refinement of crop rotation algorithm in DSSAT is recommended.
    Soil and Tillage Research 05/2014; 143. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, a groundwater exploitation scheme is incorporated into the regional climate model, RegCM4, and the climatic responses to anthropogenic alteration of groundwater are then investigated over the Haihe River Basin in Northern China where groundwater resources are overexploited. The scheme models anthropogenic groundwater exploitation and water consumption, which are further divided into agricultural irrigation, industrial use and domestic use. Four 30-year on-line exploitation simulations and one control test without exploitation are conducted using the developed model with different water demands estimated from relevant socioeconomic data. The results reveal that the groundwater exploitation and water consumption cause increasing wetting and cooling effects on the local land surface and in the lower troposphere, along with a rapidly declining groundwater table in the basin. The cooling and wetting effects also extended outside the basin, especially in the regions downwind of the prevailing westerly wind, where increased precipitation occurs. The changes in the four exploitation simulations positively relate to their different water demands and are highly non-linear. The largest changes in climatic variables usually appear in spring and summer, the time of crop growth. To gain further insights into the direct changes in land-surface variables due to groundwater exploitation regardless of the atmospheric feedbacks, three off-line simulations using the land surface model Community Land Model version 3.5 are also conducted to distinguish these direct changes on the land surface of the basin. The results indicate that the direct changes of land-surface variables respond linearly to water demand if the climatic feedbacks are not considered, while non-linear climatic feedbacks enhance the differences in the on-line exploitation simulations.
    Climate Dynamics 03/2014; 42(7-8). · 4.62 Impact Factor


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Jun 2, 2014