CLIMATE RESEARCH, cilt.52, ss.175-191, 2012 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
This paper focuses on the evaluation of regional climate model simulation for Turkey for the 21st century. A regional climate model, ICTP-RegCM3, with 20 km horizontal resolution, is used to downscale the reference and future climate scenario (IPCC-A2) simulations. Characteristics of droughts as well as the crop growth and yields of first- and second-crop corn are then calculated and simulated based on the data produced. The model projects an increase in air temperature of 5 to 7 degrees C during the summer season over the west and an increase of 3.5 degrees C for the winter season for the eastern part of the country. Precipitation is predicted to be 40% less in the southwest, although it may increase by 25% in the eastern part of the Black Sea region and north eastern Turkey. Trends in drought intensity and crop growth are related to climate changes. The results suggest more frequent, intense and long-lasting droughts in the country particularly along the western and southern coasts under future climate conditions. A shift of climate classes towards drier conditions is also projected for the western, southern and central regions during the 21st century. Evaluating the role of the climate change trends in crop production reveals significant decreases in yield and shortened growth seasons for first-and second-crop corn, a likely result of high temperatures and water stresses. In addition to rising temperatures and declining precipitation, increasing frequency, severity and duration of drought events may significantly affect food production and socio-economic conditions in Turkey. Our results may help policy makers and relevant sectors to implement appropriate and timely measures to cope with climate-change-induced droughts and their effects in the future.