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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Madagascar: Beneficial effects of climate change on rice

Unlike in other world regions, the upland rice grown in Madagascar should benefit from the effects of global warming. This is the surprising result obtained by a team of researchers from CIRAD and FOFIFA who simulated a century of rice production depending on the extent of climate change in the highlands of Madagascar.
In this cold region, upland rice is grown at the lower limit of its temperature tolerance. In this case, increased temperatures would speed up flowering and grain maturity, in such a way that the demand for water and nutrients from the plant would tally better with their availability in the soil, ensuring a marked increase in yields. This is the opposite of what is expected in southern Asia, where rice is grown at the upper limit of its temperature tolerance, and where yields are likely to fall overall.
The team of researchers looked into the impact of global warming on upland rice productivity in the highlands of Madagascar, where the crop has developed recently. Their study covered a ninety-year period, from 2010 to 2099, depending on the cropping system adopted.

Source: CIRAD