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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X

Abstract

GOUVEA, Júlia Ribeiro Ferreira; SENTELHAS, Paulo Cesar; GAZZOLA, Samuel Thomazella  and  SANTOS, Marcelo Cabral. Climate changes and technological advances: impacts on sugarcane productivity in tropical southern Brazil. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2009, vol.66, n.5, pp.593-605. ISSN 1678-992X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-90162009000500003.

The climatic projections for this century indicate the possibility of severe consequences for human beings, especially for agriculture where adverse effects to productivity of crops and to agribusiness as a whole may occur. An agrometeorological model was used to estimate sugarcane yield in tropical southern Brazil, based on future A1B climatic scenarios presented in the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, in 2007. Sugarcane yield was evaluated for 2020, 2050, and 2080 considering the possible impacts caused by changes in temperature, precipitation, sunshine hours and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, as well as technological advances. Increasingly higher temperatures will cause an increase of the potential productivity (PP), since this variable positively affects the efficiency of the photosynthetic processes of C4 plants. Changes in solar radiation and rainfall, however, will have less impact. PP will increase by 15% in relation to the present condition in 2020, by 33% in 2050 and by 47% in 2080. Regarding the actual productivities (AP), the increase observed in PP will compensate for the negative effect of the projected increase in water deficit. AP will increase by 12% in relation to the present condition in 2020, by 32% in 2050 and by 47% in 2080. The increase in sugarcane productivity resulting from the projected scenarios will have important impacts on the sugarcane sector.

Keywords : global warming; water balance; agrometeorological model; sugarcane yield.

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