Modeling of Agricultural Sustainability

In addition to the monitoring and the effects studies of UV radiation, the UVMRP conducts research on crop growth and production assessment modeling. The goal of the modeling work is to couple a regional climate forecasting model, such as the Climate version-Weather Research and Forecasting Model (CWRF), to crop growth models to assess the role of global climate change on future crop health and crop yields. The main thrust of this effort is to develop an Integrated Agricultural Impact Assessment System (IAIAS) in collaboration with a group at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, led by Dr. Xin-Zhong Liang. The goal of IAIAS is to develop an integrated system that fully couples the earth's climate, UV-visible solar radiation, and crop growth models, and assimilates satellite and in-situ observations to ultimately predict climate-crop interactions. This effort will facilitate model sensitivity studies thus providing credible information on crop responses to regional climate variability and changes for decision makers to determine optimal cultural practices, assess potential risks, and identify risk management strategies. The coupled model results can be directly validated with the UVMRP UV and PAR measurements, while offering a unique tool to predict crop life cycle processes over the entire U.S. The initial results of the coupled GOSSYM (a cotton growth model) and CWRF models are shown in Fig. 8.11, which displays modeled cotton yields that agree to within ± 15% of actual yields at most sites for the 27 years of data accumulated over the entire 14-state region of the Cotton Belt.

Figure 8.11 Comparison of the long-term observed average of cotton yield in the 14-state Cotton Belt region and that predicted by the coupled GOSSYM-CWRF model. Geographic distributions of the 1979 - 2005 mean cotton yields (kg ha (a) observed and (b) simulated by the new GOSSYM; and of the ratios for the mean cotton yields over observations as simulated by (c) the new and (d) original GOSSYM

Figure 8.11 Comparison of the long-term observed average of cotton yield in the 14-state Cotton Belt region and that predicted by the coupled GOSSYM-CWRF model. Geographic distributions of the 1979 - 2005 mean cotton yields (kg ha (a) observed and (b) simulated by the new GOSSYM; and of the ratios for the mean cotton yields over observations as simulated by (c) the new and (d) original GOSSYM

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