A simulation study was carried out to describe effects of climate change on cropgrowth and irrigation water demand for a wheat-maize cropping sequence in aMediterranean environment of Turkey. Climate change scenarios were projected using dataof the three general circulation models—GCMs (CGCM2, ECHAM4 and MRI)—for theperiod of 1990 to 2100 and one regional climate model—RCM—for the period of 2070 to2079. Potential impacts of climate change based on GCMs data were estimated for the A2scenario in the Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES). The forcing data for theboundary condition of the RCM were given by the MRI model. Daily CGCM2 and RCMdata were used for computations of water balance and crop development. Predictionsderived from the models about changes in irrigation and crop growth in this study coveredthe period of 2070 to 2079 relative to the baseline period of 1994 to 2003. The effects ofclimate change on water demand and on wheat and maize yields were predicted using thedetailed crop growth subroutine of the SWAP (Soil-Water-Atmosphere-Plant) model. Precipitation was projected to decrease by about 163, 163 and 105 mm during the periodof 1990 to 2100 under the A2 scenario of the CGCM2, ECHAM4 and MRI models,respectively. The CGCM2, ECHAM4 and MRI models projected a temperature rise of 4.3,5.3 and 3.1 oC, respectively by 2100. An increase in temperature may result in a higherevaporative demand of the atmosphere. However, actual evapotranspiration (ETa) fromwheat cropland under a doubling CO2
concentration for the period of 2070 to 2079 wasSensors 2007, 7 2298 predicted to decrease by about 28 and 8% relative to the baseline period based on the CGCM2 and RCM data, respectively. According to these models, irrigation demand by wheat would be higher for the same period due to a decrease in precipitation. Both ETa and irrigation water for maize cropland were projected to decrease by 24 and 15% according to the CGCM2, and 28 and 22% according to the RCM, respectively. The temperature rise accelerated crop development but shortened the growing period by 24 days for wheat and 9 days for maize according to the CGCM2 data. The shortened growth duration with a higher temperature reduced the biomass accumulation of both crops regardless of CO2
-fertilization effect. With the combined effect of CO2
-fertilization and increased temperature, the CGCM2 and RCM projections resulted in an increase by 16 and 36% in grain yield of wheat and a decrease by about 25% and an increase by 3% in maize yield, respectively.