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Ronny Berndtsson

Professor, Dep Director, MECW Dep Scientific Coordinator

Profile photo of Ronny Berndtsson

Implications of future climate change on crop and irrigation water requirements in a semi-arid river basin using CMIP6 GCMs


  • Kunal Karan
  • Dharmaveer Singh
  • Pushpendra K. Singh
  • Birendra Bharati
  • Tarun P. Singh
  • Ronny Berndtsson

Summary, in English

Agriculture faces risks due to increasing stress from climate change, particularly in semi-arid regions. Lack of understanding of crop water requirement (CWR) and irrigation water requirement (IWR) in a changing climate may result in crop failure and socioeconomic problems that can become detrimental to agriculture-based economies in emerging nations worldwide. Previous research in CWR and IWR has largely focused on large river basins and scenarios from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3 (CMIP3) and Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) to account for the impacts of climate change on crops. Smaller basins, however, are more susceptible to regional climate change, with more significant impacts on crops. This study estimates CWRs and IWRs for five crops (sugarcane, wheat, cotton, sorghum, and soybean) in the Pravara River Basin (area of 6537 km2) of India using outputs from the most recent Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) General Circulation Models (GCMs) under Shared Socio-economic Pathway (SSP)245 and SSP585 scenarios. An increase in mean annual rainfall is projected under both scenarios in the 2050s and 2080s using ten selected CMIP6 GCMs. CWRs for all crops may decline in almost all of the CMIP6 GCMs in the 2050s and 2080s (with the exceptions of ACCESS-CM-2 and ACCESS-ESM-1.5) under SSP245 and SSP585 scenarios. The availability of increasing soil moisture in the root zone due to increasing rainfall and a decrease in the projected maximum temperature may be responsible for this decline in CWR. Similarly, except for soybean and cotton, the projected IWRs for all other three crops under SSP245 and SSP585 scenarios show a decrease or a small increase in the 2050s and 2080s in most CMIP6 GCMs. These findings are important for agricultural researchers and water resource managers to implement long-term crop planning techniques and to reduce the negative impacts of climate change and associated rainfall variability to avert crop failure and agricultural losses.


  • Centre for Advanced Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)
  • MECW: The Middle East in the Contemporary World
  • Division of Water Resources Engineering

Publishing year







Journal of Arid Land





Document type

Journal article


Science Press


  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


  • climate change
  • CMIP6 GCMs
  • crop water requirement
  • emission scenario
  • irrigation water requirement
  • Pravara River Basin




  • ISSN: 1674-6767