Climate change impact on agriculture: Devils Lake basin

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Kirilenko, Andrei
climate; agriculture; water; uncertainty; terminal lake
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Northern Great Plains is one of the most important agricultural regionsworldwide. This is also a region expected to be heavily impacted by climate change. Thisand two other papers in this session concentrate on studying climate change impacts onwater resources of the region, and on the impacts of these changes on agriculture. Themajor focus of our interest is Devils Lake watershed in North Dakota. The watershed islocated in the Northern Great Plains, the area where intensive agriculture has caused anextreme change in land use and land cover, followed by substantial water pollution. DevilsLake is an endorheic (terminal) lake, which makes it especially sensitive to environmentalpollutions, land use and climatic changes. Despite occasional severe droughts that heavilyimpact agriculture of the region, lake level has been steadily elevating since the 1940s,driven by a wetter climate phase. This paper concentrates on generation of a regionalclimate change scenario that would take into account the existing variability of climateparameters, on one hand, and data and structural uncertainty, on the other. We alsointroduce preliminary results of modelling climate change impacts on the production ofspring wheat in the region.