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Key weather extremes affecting potato production in The Netherlands


Van Oort, PAJ and Timmermans, BGH and Meinke, H and Van Ittersum, MK, Key weather extremes affecting potato production in The Netherlands, European Journal of Agronomy, 37, (1) pp. 11-22. ISSN 1161-0301 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.eja.2011.09.002


The possible impact of climate change on frequency and severity of weather extremes is hotly debated among climate scientists. Weather extremes can have a significant impact on agricultural production, but their effect is often unclear; this due to interaction with other factors that affect yield and due to lack of precise definitions of relevant weather extremes. We show that an empirical analysis of historical yields can help to identifying such rare, high impact climate events. A reconstructed time series of ware potato production in Flevoland (The Netherlands) over the last 60 years (19512010) enabled us to identify the two main yield affecting weather extremes. In around 10% of the years yield anomalies were larger than −20%. We found that these anomalies could be explained from two weather extremes (and no other),namely a wet start of the growing season and wet end of the growing season. We derived uantitative, meteorological definitions of these extremes. Climate change scenarios for 2050 show either no change or increased frequency of the two extremes.Wedemonstrate there is large uncertainty about past and future frequencies of the extremes, caused by a lack of sufficiently long historical weather records and uncertainties in climate change projections on precipitation. The approach to identify weather extremes presented here is generally applicable and shows the importance of long term crop and weather observations for investigating key climatic risks to production.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climatic variability, climate change, weather extremes, potato, Solanum tuberosum, planting date, harvesting problems
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Crop and pasture production
Research Field:Agronomy
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Meinke, H (Professor Holger Meinke)
ID Code:70197
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2011-06-07
Last Modified:2013-05-13
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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