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Document Abstract
Published: 1 Jun 2012

Understanding past and future impacts of climate change in agriculture: implications for adaptation planning

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Climate change poses a serious risk to food security and agriculture in China. Agriculture is of critical importance to China, because 54 per cent of the country’s population lives in rural areas. This policy brief outlines the key research highlights to date on the impacts of climate change on agriculture. This work is part of the ongoing research by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS) for the Adapting to Climate Change in China (ACCC) project.

Key findings:
  • Average temperature in China is increasing at a slightly faster rate than the global average, leading to a lengthening of the growing season which affects current cropping systems and management practices.
  • Droughts cause the largest direct economic losses in China.
  • Wheat, rice and maize yields seem to be decreasing in the southern parts of China, where crops are already grown close to their temperature tolerance.
  • Improved understanding of climate change impacts on agriculture in China could improve the design of adaptation strategies.
  • There is potential to increase food production with the right strategies and technologies.
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