The impact of climatic variability and climate change on arabic coffee crop in Brazil

Impacto da variabilidade e da mudança climática na produção de café arábica no Brasil

The climatic variability is the main factor responsible for the oscillations and frustrations of the coffee grain yield in Brazil. The relationships between the climatic parameters and the agricultural production are quite complex, because environmental factors affect the growth and the development of the plants under different forms during the growth stages of the coffee crop. Agrometeorological models related to the growth, development and productivity can supply information for the soil water monitoring and yield forecast, based on the water stress. A soil water balance during different growth stages of the coffee crop, can quantify the effect of the available soil water on the decrease of the final yield. Other climatic factors can reduce the productivity, such as adverse air temperatures happened during different growth stages. Solar radiation and relative humidity influence many physiological processes of the coffee tree but are not generally thought to play an important role as thermal and rainfall conditions in defining potential yield or ecological limitations for this crop. According to the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007), the global temperature is supposed to increase 1.1ºC to 6.4ºC and the rainfall 15% in the tropical areas of Brazil. Some Global warming projections as presented by IPCC will cause a strong decrease in the coffee production in Brazil. According to the literature besides the reduction of suitable areas for coffee production, the crop will tend to move South and uphill regions. This review article analyze the effect that these possible scenarios would have in the agro-climatic coffee zoning in Brazil, and adaptive solutions, such as agronomic mitigations and development of cultivars adapted to high temperatures is considered.

Coffea arabica L.; global warming; productivity; agronomic mitigations and adaptations; crop zoning

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