Modeling irrigation-based climate change adaptation in agriculture: Model development and evaluation in Northeast China

Masashi Okada, Toshichika Iizumi, Gen Sakurai, Naota Hanasaki, Toru Sakai, Katsuo Okamoto, Masayuki Yokozawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Replacing a rainfed cropping system with an irrigated one is widely assumed to be an effective measure for climate change adaptation. However, many agricultural impact studies have not necessarily accounted for the space-time variations in the water availability under changing climate and land use. Moreover, many hydrologic and agricultural assessments of climate change impacts are not fully integrated. To overcome this shortcoming, a tool that can simultaneously simulate the dynamic interactions between crop production and water resources in a watershed is essential. Here we propose the regional production and circulation coupled model (CROVER) by embedding the PRYSBI-2 (Process-based Regional Yield Simulator with Bayesian Inference version 2) large-area crop model into the global water resources model (called H08), and apply this model to the Songhua River watershed in Northeast China. The evaluation reveals that the model's performance in capturing the major characteristics of historical change in surface soil moisture, river discharge, actual crop evapotranspiration, and soybean yield relative to the reference data during the interval 1979-2010 is satisfactory accurate. The simulation experiments using the model demonstrated that subregional irrigation management, such as designating the area to which irrigation is primarily applied, has measurable influences on the regional crop production in a drought year. This finding suggests that reassessing climate change risk in agriculture using this type of modeling is crucial not to overestimate potential of irrigation-based adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1409-1424
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sept 1
Externally publishedYes


  • The model can accurately capture the major features of hydrology and crop yield
  • The model is useful in assessing climate change adaptation based on irrigation
  • This study developed a coupled crop production and river circulation model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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