Special Issue "Adaptation of Cyprus Agriculture to Climate Change"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Biometeorology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2020)

Special Issue Editors

Dr. George Papadavid
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Agricultural Research Institute Nicosia, P.O.Box 22016, Nicosia 1516, Cyprus
Interests: water resources manageme; remote sensing in agriculture and environment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Marinos Markou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Agricultural Research Institute Cyprus, Nicosia 1516, Cyprus
Interests: rural development; climate change; agricultural economics; agriculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Mediterranean region has been identified as one of the most vulnerable areas to climate change. Specifically, temperatures in the Mediterranean are projected to rise significantly by the end of the 21st century, while precipitation is projected to decrease. Climate change is expected to affect many economic sectors, and agriculture is one of the most exposed, as it is highly dependent on climatic conditions (precipitation, temperature, soil moisture, and air humidity) and on the availability of surface and groundwater resources for irrigation purposes. The negative impacts of climate change include reduced crop yields due to high temperatures, increased water demand for irrigation, and reduced water availability due to prolonged periods of droughts and water scarcity. Negative effects on agriculture will be exacerbated by damage to crops caused by extreme weather events.

For Cyprus, the climate change impacts refer to a continual, gradual, and relatively strong warming, combined by prolonged drought periods and the reduction of annual precipitation. Even though the agricultural sector in Cyprus is already facing a water shortage, climate change is expected to cause vital problems regarding groundwater quality and quantity in the future, such as increased water demand for irrigation, decreased water availability, and the deterioration of water quality. Furthermore, another major problem in the coastal agricultural areas of the island is the overexploitation of groundwater, which leads to the penetration of sea water into the aquifer, resulting in the salinization of soils, which leads to a reduction in crop production, and soil fertility degradation.

The specific Special Issue of ‘’Adaptation of Cyprus Agriculture to Climate Change’’ has the clear purpose of providing, in a scientific way, real cases of how Cyprus’ agricultural sector is being affected by climate change while at the same time providing solutions by adapting to the new climatic conditions.

Dr. George Papadavid
Dr. Marinos Markou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Climate change;
  • Cyprus agricultural sector;
  • Climate variables;
  • Irrigation management;
  • Ground water;
  • Soil salinization;
  • Soil fertility;
  • Drought;
  • Crop production;
  • National adaptation strategy of agriculture sector of Cyprus to climate change impacts.

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Agricultural Water Vulnerability under Climate Change in Cyprus
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060648 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
This study focuses on the quantification of climate change (CC) effects on agricultural water availability in Cyprus. Projections of climatic variables, based on Regional Climate Models (RCMs) forced by the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5, were used as CC driving forces [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the quantification of climate change (CC) effects on agricultural water availability in Cyprus. Projections of climatic variables, based on Regional Climate Models (RCMs) forced by the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5, were used as CC driving forces affecting water availability. Groundwater flow models were developed for specific high-interest agricultural areas in Larnaca and Paphos to assess the CC impacts on these groundwater systems, while the Standardized Precipitation–Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) analysis was also adopted, for the first time in Cyprus, to assess future trends of water reservoir storage under the projected climatic conditions. Considering the current cultivation and irrigation practices, a decrease in groundwater level close to 1 m and further inland seawater intrusion in Larnaca aquifers are expected, while in Paphos’ aquifers, the predicted water table fluctuations are not significant. Additionally, SPEI values at the Asprokemos and Kouris dams are correlated with water storage measurements, showing that a SPEI downward trend observed in these reservoirs could set off an alarm to the water authorities with respect to water availability as more severe drought events are expected in the future. The expected pressure on surface waters imposes the need for an improved water management plan that will not depend on the further exploitation of groundwater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Cyprus Agriculture to Climate Change)
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Article
Assessment of Total Climate Change Impacts on the Agricultural Sector of Cyprus
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060608 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1869
Abstract
In this paper, the results of a climate change impact and vulnerability assessment conducted for the agricultural sector of Cyprus are presented. The assessment is based on the outputs of specialized climatic and crop models, while it incorporates quantified socio-economic vulnerability indicators of [...] Read more.
In this paper, the results of a climate change impact and vulnerability assessment conducted for the agricultural sector of Cyprus are presented. The assessment is based on the outputs of specialized climatic and crop models, while it incorporates quantified socio-economic vulnerability indicators of the Cypriot agriculture. The results are aggregated at municipal level in order to support regional and local adaptation planning. The assessment was performed for two representative concentration pathways (RCP4.5, RCP8.5), as well as for extreme climatic scenarios. Following, an economic assessment was made on the expected change in revenues of the agricultural sector. The results of climatic simulations indicated that future increases in temperature will be characterized by a strong seasonal trend, with the highest increases occurring in summer. Precipitation is expected to decrease throughout the island, where the highest decreases (50%) are expected during summer (RCP8.5). This trend will affect mainly tomato, grapevine, and olive tree, whose growing cycle takes place during summer. By contrast, crops covering autumn-winter season, such as potato, barley, and wheat, are expected to partially avoid harsh summer conditions. The results of the economic assessment show that the changes in total revenues are insignificant, because, under all scenarios, a loss in one crop is compensated by a gain in another crop. However, the farmers as well as the government should take action to increase the resilience of the agricultural sector, with a special focus on those crops and areas that are expected to be adversely affected by climate change impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Cyprus Agriculture to Climate Change)
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Article
Smart Farming Techniques for Climate Change Adaptation in Cyprus
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060557 - 27 May 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 5644
Abstract
Smart farming based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies enables crop farmers to collect real-time data related to irrigation and plant protection processes, aiming to increase production volume, improve product quality, and predict diseases, while optimizing resources and farming processes. IoT devices can [...] Read more.
Smart farming based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies enables crop farmers to collect real-time data related to irrigation and plant protection processes, aiming to increase production volume, improve product quality, and predict diseases, while optimizing resources and farming processes. IoT devices can collect vast amounts of environmental, soil, and crop performance data, thus building time series data that can be analyzed to forecast and compute recommendations and deliver critical information to farmers in real time. In this sense, the added-value from the farmers’ perspective is that such smart farming techniques have the potential to deliver a more sustainable agricultural production, based on a more precise and resource-efficient approach in the complex and versatile agricultural environment. The aim of this study is to investigate possible advantages of applying the Smart Farming as a Service (SFaaS) paradigm, aiming to support small-scale farmers, by taking over the technological investment burden and offering next generation farming advice through the combined utilization of heterogeneous information sources. The overall results of the pilot application demonstrate a potential reduction of up to 22% on total irrigation needs and important optimization opportunities on pesticides use efficiency. The current work offers opportunities for innovation targeting and climate change adaptation options (new agricultural technologies), and could help farmers to reduce their ecological footprint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Cyprus Agriculture to Climate Change)
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Article
Applying a Delphi-Type Approach to Estimate the Adaptation Cost on Agriculture to Climate Change in Cyprus
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050536 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1539
Abstract
Agriculture is highly dependent on climate change, and Cyprus especially is experiencing its impacts on agricultural production to a greater extent, mainly due to its geographical location. The adaptation of farming to the effects of global climate change may lead to the maximization [...] Read more.
Agriculture is highly dependent on climate change, and Cyprus especially is experiencing its impacts on agricultural production to a greater extent, mainly due to its geographical location. The adaptation of farming to the effects of global climate change may lead to the maximization of agricultural production, which is an important and desirable improvement. The main aim of this paper is to rank and quantify the impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector of Cyprus, through a multi-round Delphi survey seeking a consensus agreement in a group of experts. A multidisciplinary group of 20 experts stated their willingness-to-pay for various impacts of climate change. By applying this method, the individual impacts of climate change on crop production and water resources were brought into the modeling effort on equal footing with cost values. The final cost impact estimate represents the total estimated cost of climate change in the agricultural sector. According to the results, this cost reaches EUR 25.08 million annually for the agricultural sector, and EUR 366.48 million for the whole country. Therefore, it is expected that in the seven-year programming period 2014–2020 the total cost of climate change on agriculture ranges from EUR 176 to EUR 2565 million. The most significant impacts are due to the increasing level of CO2 in the atmosphere and the burden of biodiversity and ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Cyprus Agriculture to Climate Change)
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Article
Addressing Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture: Adaptation Measures For Six Crops in Cyprus
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050483 - 09 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1756
Abstract
The agricultural sector of Cyprus is seriously affected by climate change impacts. In the framework of the ADAPT2CLIMA project, the available techniques and methods implemented worldwide for the adaptation of six crops (wheat, barley, potatoes, tomatoes, grapes, and olives) to climate change impacts [...] Read more.
The agricultural sector of Cyprus is seriously affected by climate change impacts. In the framework of the ADAPT2CLIMA project, the available techniques and methods implemented worldwide for the adaptation of six crops (wheat, barley, potatoes, tomatoes, grapes, and olives) to climate change impacts were thoroughly assessed. The identified adaptation options were categorized according to the climate change impact they address as follows: measures against drought stress, heat stress, decreasing plant health, extreme weather events and reduced crop productivity. Another category that refers to measures that address more than one category of climate change was also added. The evaluation of the identified adaptation options was based on a self-administered semi-structured questionnaire. The identified adaptation measures were graded according to the following criteria: efficiency of the measure, urgency of implementing the measure, usefulness of implementation irrespective of climate change, technical difficulty, contribution to climate change adaptation, economic viability and social acceptance. Fifty-six respondents (experts and stakeholders) filled the questionnaire, suggesting twelve recommended adaptation measures (with high score ≥ 60%), which mainly refer to irrigation adaptation measures, cultural practices, and methods for upgrading external services to farmers. The recommended adaptation measures for Cyprus are thoroughly presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Cyprus Agriculture to Climate Change)
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Article
Irrigation Groundwater Quality Characteristics: A Case Study of Cyprus
Atmosphere 2020, 11(3), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030302 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1591
Abstract
This study was conducted in order to investigate possible quality changes in Cyprus’ groundwater resources over a 10-year period of pumping and to check the suitability of primary irrigation water. Water samples (n = 890) from private wells in agricultural areas were analyzed [...] Read more.
This study was conducted in order to investigate possible quality changes in Cyprus’ groundwater resources over a 10-year period of pumping and to check the suitability of primary irrigation water. Water samples (n = 890) from private wells in agricultural areas were analyzed from 2009 to 2018 to determine various physicochemical properties. The sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) and residual sodium carbonate (RSC) were also calculated to evaluate potential soil degradation issues. Sodium, chloride and sulphate were found to be the predominant ions in groundwater. Quality evaluation showed possible restrictions in groundwater use for irrigation in relation to its salt content and the toxicity of specific ions having adverse effects on sensitive and several moderately sensitive crops. In particular, an increasing trend was observed in pumped groundwater for boron ion concentrations. Nevertheless, all samples evaluated were suitable for irrigation in terms of soil sodicitation and soil infiltration rate. This study indicates that in order to maintain long-term agricultural sustainability it is imperative to develop strategic plants to mitigate the adverse effects of water-pumped quality deterioration on soils and crops. Precision agriculture techniques may be adapted for better water and nutrient input/output management, thus protecting groundwater from salinization in agricultural areas. These results, among others, may be a useful tool to enhance the ability of Cyprus’s agricultural water sector to adapt to observed and anticipated climate impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Cyprus Agriculture to Climate Change)
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Review

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Review
The Importance of Microbial Inoculants in a Climate-Changing Agriculture in Eastern Mediterranean Region
Atmosphere 2020, 11(10), 1136; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11101136 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1735
Abstract
Climate change has gained importance due to its severe consequences for many aspects of life. Increasing temperature, drought and greenhouse gases affect directly or indirectly the productivity of agricultural and natural ecosystems as well as human health. The nutrient supply capacity of the [...] Read more.
Climate change has gained importance due to its severe consequences for many aspects of life. Increasing temperature, drought and greenhouse gases affect directly or indirectly the productivity of agricultural and natural ecosystems as well as human health. The nutrient supply capacity of the soil is diminishing, while food requirements for the growing population are increasing. The ongoing application of agrochemicals results in adverse effects on ecosystem functioning and food chain. Now, more than ever, there is a need to mitigate the effects of agricultural activities on climate change using environmentally friendly techniques. The role of plant beneficial microorganisms on this global challenge is increasingly being explored, and there is strong evidence that could be important. The use of functional microbial guilds forms an alternative or even a supplementary approach to common agricultural practices, due to their ability to act as biofertilizers and promote plant growth. Application of microbial inocula has a significantly lower impact on the environment compared to chemical inputs, while the agricultural sector will financially benefit, and consumers will have access to quality products. Microbial inoculants could play an important role in agricultural stress management and ameliorate the negative impacts of climate change. This short review highlights the role of microbes in benefiting agricultural practices against climate-changing conditions. In particular, the main microbial plant growth-promoting functional traits that are related to climate change are presented and discussed. The importance of microbial inoculants’ multifunctionality is debated, while future needs and challenges are also highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Cyprus Agriculture to Climate Change)
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Review
A Review of Climate-Smart Agriculture Applications in Cyprus
Atmosphere 2020, 11(9), 898; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11090898 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2499
Abstract
Climate-smart agriculture is an approach for developing agricultural strategies to modernize agricultural systems using digital techniques, aiming for sustainable agriculture and ensuring food security under climate change. This article provides a systematic literature review of smart agriculture technologies towards climate-smart agriculture in Cyprus, [...] Read more.
Climate-smart agriculture is an approach for developing agricultural strategies to modernize agricultural systems using digital techniques, aiming for sustainable agriculture and ensuring food security under climate change. This article provides a systematic literature review of smart agriculture technologies towards climate-smart agriculture in Cyprus, including robotics, Internet of Things, and remote sensing. The paper starts with a review of climate-smart agriculture, presenting its importance in terms of optimizing agricultural production processes in order to address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change. An extensive literature review of works published in the areas of robotics, Internet of Things, and remote sensing is undertaken, with particular attention paid to works carried out in relation to agriculture in Cyprus. The paper analyzes aspects of the climate-smart agriculture research situation in Cypriot agriculture, identifies gaps, and concludes with new directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Cyprus Agriculture to Climate Change)
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