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Climate Variability and Change in Bihar, India: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Crop Production

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), P.O. Box 5689, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), New Delhi 110012, India
Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute (EIAR), P.O. Box 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), El Batan 06600, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1998;
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance for Climate Smart Agriculture)
Climate change and associated uncertainties have serious direct and indirect consequences for crop production and food security in agriculture-based developing regions. Long-term climate data analysis can identify climate risks and anticipate new ones for planning appropriate adaptation and mitigation options. The aim of this study was to identify near-term (2030) and mid-term (2050) climate risks and/or opportunities in the state of Bihar, one of India’s most populous and poorest states, using weather data for 30 years (1980–2009) as a baseline. Rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures, and evapotranspiration will all increase in the near- and mid-term periods relative to the baseline period, with the magnitude of the change varying with time, season and location within the state. Bihar’s major climate risks for crop production will be heat stress due to increasing minimum temperatures in the rabi (winter) season and high minimum and maximum temperatures in the spring season; and intense rainfall and longer dry spells in the kharif (monsoon) season. The increase in annual and seasonal rainfall amounts, and extended crop growing period in the kharif season generally provide opportunities; but increasing temperature across the state will have considerable negative consequences on (staple) crops by affecting crop phenology, physiology and plant-water relations. The study helps develop site-specific adaptation and mitigation options that minimize the negative effects of climate change while maximizing the opportunities. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bihar; climate analysis; climate change; India; crop production Bihar; climate analysis; climate change; India; crop production
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Tesfaye, K.; Aggarwal, P.K.; Mequanint, F.; Shirsath, P.B.; Stirling, C.M.; Khatri-Chhetri, A.; Rahut, D.B. Climate Variability and Change in Bihar, India: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Crop Production. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1998.

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