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Open AccessArticle

Projecting Future Change in Growing Degree Days for Winter Wheat

National Weather Center Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program, Norman, OK 73072, USA
College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, University of Oklahoma, 120 David L. Boren Boulevard, Suite 3630, Norman, OK 73072, USA
South Central Climate Science Center, University of Oklahoma, 201 Stephenson Parkway, Suite 2100, Norman, OK 73019, USA
Arable Labs Incorporated 252 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Annelie Holzkämper and Sibylle Stöckli
Agriculture 2016, 6(3), 47;
Received: 12 April 2016 / Revised: 5 September 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Options for Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change)
Southwest Oklahoma is one of the most productive regions in the Great Plains (USA) where winter wheat is produced. To assess the effect of climate change on the growing degree days (GDD) available for winter wheat production, we selected from the CMIP5 archive, two of the best performing Global Climate Models (GCMs) for the region (MIROC5 and CCSM4) to project the future change in GDD under the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 8.5 and 4.5 future trajectories for greenhouse gas concentrations. Two quantile mapping methods were applied to both GCMs to obtain local scale projections. The local scale outputs were applied to a GDD formula to show the GDD changes between the historical period (1961–2004) and the future period (2006–2098) in terms of mean differences. The results show that at the end of the 2098 growing season, the increase in GDD is expected to be between 440 °C and 1300 °C, for RCP 4.5, and between 700 °C and 1350 °C for RCP 8.5. This increase in GDD might cause a decrease in the number of days required to reach crop maturity, as all the GCM/statistical post-processing combinations showed a decreasing trend of those timings during the 21st century. Furthermore, we conclude, that when looking at the influence of the selected GCMs and the quantile mapping methods on the GDD calculation, the GCMs differences originated from the significant spatial and temporal variations of GDD over the region and not the statistical methods tested. View Full-Text
Keywords: winter wheat; Southwest Oklahoma; statistical post-processing; growing degree days; Red River Basin; climate projections winter wheat; Southwest Oklahoma; statistical post-processing; growing degree days; Red River Basin; climate projections
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Ruiz Castillo, N.; Gaitán Ospina, C.F. Projecting Future Change in Growing Degree Days for Winter Wheat. Agriculture 2016, 6, 47.

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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.15763/DBS.SCCSC.RR
    Description: Details of the datasets used for this project: “Statistically downscaled time series for the Red River Basin”. DOI: 10.15763/DBS.SCCSC.RR a. 1/10th of a degree observation based dataset. DOI: 10.15763/DBS.SCCSC.RR.0001 b. Downscaled climate variables from the CCSM4 GCM. DOI: 10.15763/DBS.SCCSC.RR.0002 c. Downscaled climate variables from MIROC5 GCM DOI: 10.15763/DBS.SCCSC.RR.0003
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