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Changes in agricultural climate in South-Eastern England from 1892 to 2016 and differences in cereal and permanent grassland yield

Addy, J. W. G., Ellis, R. H., Macdonald, A. J., Semenov, M. A. and Mead, A. (2021) Changes in agricultural climate in South-Eastern England from 1892 to 2016 and differences in cereal and permanent grassland yield. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 308-309. 108560. ISSN 0168-1923

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108560

Abstract/Summary

The long-term increasing trend of annual mean temperature is only one aspect of recent climate change. Other changes in climate, seen in within-year weather patterns relevant to crop production, have also occurred since the late-19th Century. Multivariate analysis combining Prinipal Components Analysis and K-means clustering applied to temporal meteorological datasets (monthly summaries of rainfall, temperature and sunlight duration at Rothamsted Research, UK, between 1892 and 2016) identified ten distinct clusters of years, each with different annual weather patterns. The frequency of occurrence of the years within each cluster altered considerably during this period, with the late 20th and early 21st Century distinctly different to earlier in the 20th Century, providing clear evidence of climate change with regard to the whole weather profile rather than just warming alone. The most-frequently represented cluster of the 21st Century to date had warmer temperatures with more intense rainfall but a dry June, compared to all other clusters. Half of the clusters identified were not represented in the most-recent 25-year period. Analysis of the total biomass yield of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), and grassland amongst the different weather clusters showed that years in clusters typical of the 20th Century climate provided greater off-take than those from the early-21st Century, but this impact was less for the pasture than for the two cereal crops implying herbage production was the more resilient to the changing climate at this site.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Crops Research Group
ID Code:99477
Uncontrolled Keywords:Climate change; Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.); Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.); pasture; Multivariate analysis
Publisher:Elsevier

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