Rice production is susceptible to damage from the changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, and in the frequency of major storm events that will accompany climate change. Deltaic areas, in which millions of farmers cultivate from one to three crops of rice per year, are susceptible also to the impacts of a rising sea level, submergence during major storm events, and saline intrusion into groundwater and surface water resources. In this paper, I review the current state of knowledge regarding the potential impacts of climate change on rice production and I describe adaptation measures that involve soil and water management. In many areas, farmers will need to modify crop choices, crop calendars, and soil and water management practices as they adapt to climate change. Adaptation measures at the local, regional, and international levels also will be helpful in moderating the potential impacts of climate change on aggregate rice production and on household food security in many countries. Some of the changes in soil and water management and other production practices that will be implemented in response to climate change also will reduce methane generation and release from rice fields. Some of the measures also will reduce the uptake of arsenic in rice plants, thus addressing an important public health issue in portions of South and Southeast Asia. Where feasible, replacing continuously flooded rice production with some form of aerobic rice production, will contribute to achieving adaptation objectives, while also reducing global warming potential and minimizing the risk of negative health impacts due to consumption of arsenic contaminated rice.
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