Chapter 3 Regional Vulnerability of Climate Change Impacts on Asian Rice Production and Scope for Adaptation uri icon

abstract

  • Rice is the principle staple crop of Asia and any deterioration of rice production systems through climate change would seriously impair food security in this continent. This review assesses spatial and temporal vulnerabilities of different rice production systems to climate change impacts in Asia. Initially, the review discusses the risks of increasing heat stress and maps the regions where current temperatures are already approaching critical levels during the susceptible stages of the rice plant, namely Pakistan/north India (Oct.), south India (April, Aug.), east India/Bangladesh (March-June), Myanmar/Thailand/Laos/Cambodia (March-June), Vietnam (April/Aug.), Philippines (April/June), Indonesia (Aug.) and China (July/Aug.). Possible adaptation options for heat stress are derived from regions where the rice crop is already exposed to very high temperatures including Iran and Australia. Drought stress is also expected to aggravate through climate change; a map superimposing the distribution of rainfed rice and precipitation anomalies in Asia highlights especially vulnerable areas in east India/Bangladesh and Myanmar/Thailand.
  • Then, the review gives emphasis to two rice growing environments that have outstanding importance for food supply in Asia and, at the same time, are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts. The mega-deltas in Vietnam, Myanmar and Bangladesh are the backbone of the rice economy in the respective country and will experience specific climate change impacts due to sea level rise. Significant improvements of the rice production systems, that is, higher resilience to flooding and salinity, are crucial for maintaining or even increasing yield levels in these very productive deltaic regions. The other 'hotspot' with especially high climate change risks in Asia is the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) which will be affected by the melting of the Himalayan glaciers. The dominant land use type in the IGP is rice-wheat rotation, and we discuss specific vulnerabilities and possible adaptation options in the different sub-regions of the IGP We conclude that geo-spatial vulnerability assessments may become crucial for planning targeted adaptation programs, but that policy frameworks are needed for their implementation.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009
  • 2009