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Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1172; doi:10.3390/su9071172

Estimation of the Virtual Water Content of Main Crops on the Korean Peninsula Using Multiple Regional Climate Models and Evapotranspiration Methods

1
Department of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
2
Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 1 July 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural and Climate Change)
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Abstract

Sustainable agriculture in the era of climate change needs to find solutions for the retention and proper utilization of water. This study proposes an ensemble approach for identifying the virtual water content (VWC) of main crops on the Korean Peninsula in past and future climates. Ensemble results with low uncertainty were obtained using three regional climate models, five potential evapotranspiration methods, and the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) crop model. The productivity results of major crops (rice and maize) under climate change are likely to increase more than in the past based on the ensemble results. The ensemble VWC is calculated using three types of crop yields and fifteen consumptive amounts of water use in the past and the future. While the ensemble VWC of rice and maize was 1.18 m3 kg−1 and 0.58 m3 kg−1, respectively, in the past, the future amounts were estimated at 0.76 m3 kg−1 and 0.48 m3 kg−1, respectively. The yields of both crops showed a decline in future projections, indicating that this change could have a positive impact on future water demand. The positive changes in crop productivity and water consumption due to climate change suggest that adaptation to climate change can be an opportunity for enhancing sustainability as well as for minimizing agricultural damage. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual water content; ensemble result; crop yield; regional climate models; PET methods virtual water content; ensemble result; crop yield; regional climate models; PET methods
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Lim, C.-H.; Kim, S.H.; Choi, Y.; Kafatos, M.C.; Lee, W.-K. Estimation of the Virtual Water Content of Main Crops on the Korean Peninsula Using Multiple Regional Climate Models and Evapotranspiration Methods. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1172.

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