EMS Annual Meeting Abstracts
Vol. 18, EMS2021-287, 2021, updated on 11 Jan 2022
EMS Annual Meeting 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Trends of weather-related impacts on Austrian crop production under changing climate

Sabina Thaler1,2, Josef Eitzinger1, and Gerhard Kubu1
Sabina Thaler et al.
  • 1Institute of Meteorology and Climatology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria (sabina.thaler@boku.ac.at)
  • 2CzechGlobe – Global Change Research Institute CAS, Brno, Czech Republic

Weather-related risks can affect crop growth and yield potentials directly (e.g. heat, frost, drought) and indirectly (e.g. through biotic factors such as pests). Due to climate change, severe shifts of cropping risks may occur, where farmers need to adapt effectively and in time to increase the resilience of existing cropping systems. For example, since the early 21st century, Europe has experienced a series of exceptionally dry and warmer than usual weather conditions (2003, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018) which led to severe droughts with devastating impacts in agriculture on crop yields and pasture productivity.

Austria has experienced above-average warming in the period since 1880. While the global average surface temperature has increased by almost 1°C, the warming in Austria during this period was nearly 2°C. Higher temperatures, changing precipitation patterns and more severe and frequent extreme weather events will significantly affect weather-sensitive sectors, especially agriculture. Therefore, the development of sound adaptation and mitigation strategies towards a "climate-intelligent agriculture" is crucial to improve the resilience of agricultural systems to climate change and increased climate variability. Within the project AGROFORECAST a set of weather-related risk indicators and tailored recommendations for optimizing crop management options are developed and tested for various forecast or prediction lead times (short term management: 10 days - 6 months; long term strategic planning: climate scenarios) to better inform farmers of upcoming weather and climate challenges.

Here we present trends of various types of long-term weather-related impacts on Austrian crop production under past (1980-2020) and future periods (2035-2065). For that purpose, agro-climatic risk indicators and crop production indicators are determined in selected case study regions with the help of models. We use for the past period Austrian gridded weather data set (INCA) as well as different regionalized climate scenarios of the Austrian Climate Change Projections ÖKS15. The calculation of the agro-climatic indicators is carried out by the existing AGRICLIM model and the GIS-based ARIS software, which was developed for estimating the impact of adverse weather conditions on crops. The crop growth model AQUACROP is used for analysing soil-crop water balance parameters, crop yields and future crop water demand.

Depending on the climatic region, a more or less clear shift in the various agro-climatic indices can be expected towards 2050, e.g. the number of "heat-stress-days" for winter wheat increases significantly in eastern Austria. Furthermore, a decreasing trend in maize yield is simulated, whereas a mean increase in yield of spring barley and winter wheat can be expected under selected scenarios. Other agro-climatic risk indicators analysed include pest algorithms, risks from frost occurrence, overwintering conditions, climatic crop growing conditions, field workability and others, which can add additional impacts on crop yield variability, not considered by crop models.

How to cite: Thaler, S., Eitzinger, J., and Kubu, G.: Trends of weather-related impacts on Austrian crop production under changing climate, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-287, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-287, 2021.

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