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Sustainable agriculture in the era of climate change needs to find solutions for the retention and proper utilization of water. This study proposes an ensemble approach for identifying the virtual water content (VWC) of main crops on the Korean Peninsula in past and future climates. Ensemble results with low uncertainty were obtained using three regional climate models, five potential evapotranspiration methods, and the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) crop model. The productivity results of major crops (rice and maize) under climate change are likely to increase more than in the past based on the ensemble results. The ensemble VWC is calculated using three types of crop yields and fifteen consumptive amounts of water use in the past and the future. While the ensemble VWC of rice and maize was 1.18 m^3 kg^-1 and 0.58 m^3 kg^-1, respectively, in the past, the future amounts were estimated at 0.76 m^3 kg^-1 and 0.48 m3 kg^-1, respectively. The yields of both crops showed a decline in future projections, indicating that this change could have a positive impact on future water demand. The positive changes in crop productivity and water consumption due to climate change suggest that adaptation to climate change can be an opportunity for enhancing sustainability as well as for minimizing agricultural damage.


This article was originally published in Sustainability, volume 9, issue 7, in 2017. DOI: 10.3390/su9071172

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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