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Climate Change Trends and Impacts on California Agriculture: A Detailed Review

Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Merced, CA 95343, USA
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources—Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, University of California, Parlier, CA 93648, USA
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources California Institute for Water Resources, University of California, Oakland, CA 94607, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2018, 8(3), 25;
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change in Agriculture: Impacts and Adaptations)
California is a global leader in the agricultural sector and produces more than 400 types of commodities. The state produces over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. Despite being highly productive, current and future climate change poses many challenges to the agricultural sector. This paper provides a summary of the current state of knowledge on historical and future trends in climate and their impacts on California agriculture. We present a synthesis of climate change impacts on California agriculture in the context of: (1) historic trends and projected changes in temperature, precipitation, snowpack, heat waves, drought, and flood events; and (2) consequent impacts on crop yields, chill hours, pests and diseases, and agricultural vulnerability to climate risks. Finally, we highlight important findings and directions for future research and implementation. The detailed review presented in this paper provides sufficient evidence that the climate in California has changed significantly and is expected to continue changing in the future, and justifies the urgency and importance of enhancing the adaptive capacity of agriculture and reducing vulnerability to climate change. Since agriculture in California is very diverse and each crop responds to climate differently, climate adaptation research should be locally focused along with effective stakeholder engagement and systematic outreach efforts for effective adoption and implementation. The expected readership of this paper includes local stakeholders, researchers, state and national agencies, and international communities interested in learning about climate change and California’s agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; agriculture; California; chill hours; drought; vulnerability climate change; agriculture; California; chill hours; drought; vulnerability
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Pathak, T.B.; Maskey, M.L.; Dahlberg, J.A.; Kearns, F.; Bali, K.M.; Zaccaria, D. Climate Change Trends and Impacts on California Agriculture: A Detailed Review. Agronomy 2018, 8, 25.

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