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Article

The Effect of Climate Change-Induced Temperature Increase on Performance and Environmental Impact of Intensive Pig Production Systems

1
Division of Livestock Sciences, Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Gregor Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna, Austria
2
WG Environmental Health, Unit for Physiology and Biophysics, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1210 Vienna, Austria
3
Institute for Sustainable Economic Development, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1180 Vienna, Austria
4
Institute of Animal Husbandry and Animal Welfare, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1210 Vienna, Austria
5
Department of Environmental Meteorology, Central Institute of Meteorology and Geodynamics, 1190 Vienna, Austria
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Department for Climate Research, Central Institute of Meteorology and Geodynamics, 1190 Vienna, Austria
7
Field Station for Epidemiology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 49456 Bakum, Germany
8
University Clinics for Swine, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1190 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Dedicated to our colleague, Knut Niebuhr, who passed away before the manuscript was submitted.
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9442; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229442
Received: 9 October 2020 / Revised: 1 November 2020 / Accepted: 11 November 2020 / Published: 13 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Climate Change on Sustainable Agriculture)
This study examined climate change impacts (CCI) on productivity of pig production systems, their resource use, environmental impacts and the relevance of potential adaptation options. The impact of increasing temperature and temperature-humidity index (THI) on performance of pigs in confined housing systems was analysed by a meta-analysis. Using climate data for an Austrian site for the period 1981 to 2010, different scenarios (cold year, warm year, hot year, worst case scenario) were modelled and compared. Although significant differences between thermoneutral and heat stress conditions were detected for the analysed traits of growing and finishing pigs, overall performance, resource use (cumulative energy demand) and environmental impacts (global warming, acidification and eutrophication potential) per kg of live mass for finished pigs and reared piglets did not significantly differ between most scenarios. Elements of pig production systems resilient to CCI, which were not considered under performance and environmental impacts (LCA), were addressed in a system analysis that was based on literature and expert knowledge. The most important detected system elements are plants and animals with an appropriate genetic potential, securing the access to inexpensive feed, including land for feed production, securing water supply and the implementation of health plans and measures against diseases associated with CCI. View Full-Text
Keywords: livestock; heat stress; indoor climate; climate change impacts; global warming potential; GWP; eutrophication potential; acidification potential; cumulative energy demand livestock; heat stress; indoor climate; climate change impacts; global warming potential; GWP; eutrophication potential; acidification potential; cumulative energy demand
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hörtenhuber, S.J.; Schauberger, G.; Mikovits, C.; Schönhart, M.; Baumgartner, J.; Niebuhr, K.; Piringer, M.; Anders, I.; Andre, K.; Hennig-Pauka, I.; Zollitsch, W. The Effect of Climate Change-Induced Temperature Increase on Performance and Environmental Impact of Intensive Pig Production Systems. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9442. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229442

AMA Style

Hörtenhuber SJ, Schauberger G, Mikovits C, Schönhart M, Baumgartner J, Niebuhr K, Piringer M, Anders I, Andre K, Hennig-Pauka I, Zollitsch W. The Effect of Climate Change-Induced Temperature Increase on Performance and Environmental Impact of Intensive Pig Production Systems. Sustainability. 2020; 12(22):9442. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229442

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hörtenhuber, Stefan J., Günther Schauberger, Christian Mikovits, Martin Schönhart, Johannes Baumgartner, Knut Niebuhr, Martin Piringer, Ivonne Anders, Konrad Andre, Isabel Hennig-Pauka, and Werner Zollitsch. 2020. "The Effect of Climate Change-Induced Temperature Increase on Performance and Environmental Impact of Intensive Pig Production Systems" Sustainability 12, no. 22: 9442. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229442

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