Climate Change 2001:
Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
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13.3.4. Agriculture

To avoid or at least reduce negative effects and exploit possible positive effects, several economic and agronomic adaptation strategies for agriculture have been suggested. Economic strategies are intended to render the agricultural costs of climate change small by comparison with overall expansion of agricultural products. Agronomic strategies intend to offset the loss of productivity caused by climate change, either partially or completely. Agronomic strategies include short-term adjustments and long-term adaptations. Short-Term Adjustments

Short-term adjustments to climate change are efforts to optimize production with major system changes. They are autonomous in the sense that no other sectors (e.g., policy, research) are needed for their development and implementation. Thus, short-term adjustment can be considered the first defense tool against climate change. A large range of such adjustments have been reported, including:

Table 13-7: Land management options to mitigate impact of climate change on soils.
Management/Adaptation Options
- Salinization
- Peat wastage
- Acidification
- Erosion
- Compaction
- Soil biodiversity
- Improved technology for application, better water quality, better water scheduling
- No drainage of lowland peat soils
- Soil pH management
- Soil conservation techniques (expand)
- Better timing of field operation, use of new tillage equipment
- ???
- Soil water
- Soil organic matter
- Soil nutrients
- Polluting chemicals
- Soil temperature
- Soil material resources
- Irrigation (with improved technology and scheduling)
- Use of manures, reduced tillage, improved farming system methods, crop rotation management
- Sustainable use of fertilizers/manures, crop rotation management
- Limits on use of polluting chemicals, clean-up of contaminated land
- Mulching
- No adaptation possible
- Water movement and soil structure
- Nitrate leaching

- Volatilization
- Carbon dioxide fluxes
- Methane fluxes
- Nitrous oxide fluxes

- Management of vertisols(?), timing of manure and sewage sludge applications

- Change in fertilizer application rates, precision farming, crop selection (i.e., with different N requirements), breeding nitrogen-fixing crops, breeding crops to improve N-use efficiency (e.g., lower requirements, more efficient uptake), irrigation management, soil pH management, nitrification inhibitors, release rates (e.g., slow or timed release, coatings to limit or retard water solubility), improved fertilizer placement and timing (e.g., band placement, foliar applications), application placement (e.g., slurry injection), application timing, application amounts (e.g., controlled rate systems)
- See management options appropriate to reduce nitrate leaching
- Land-use change for carbon sequestration
- Increased sink through fertilizer management
- See management options appropriate to reduce nitrate leaching

- Historical record - Conserve intact soil profiles and representative reference sites
- Shrink/swell damage - Underpinning of building foundations, insure differently (e.g., location restrictions)

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