Climate changes and technological advances: impacts on sugarcane productivity in tropical southern Brazil

  • Júlia Ribeiro Ferreira Gouvêa USP; ESALQ; Programa de Pós-Graduação em Física do Ambiente Agrícola
  • Paulo Cesar Sentelhas USP; ESALQ; Depto. de Engenharia Rural
  • Samuel Thomazella Gazzola COSAN; Usina Costa Pinto
  • Marcelo Cabral Santos USP; ESALQ; Depto. de Engenharia Rural
Keywords: global warming, water balance, agrometeorological model, sugarcane yield

Abstract

The climatic projections for this century indicate the possibility of severe consequences for human beings, especially for agriculture where adverse effects to productivity of crops and to agribusiness as a whole may occur. An agrometeorological model was used to estimate sugarcane yield in tropical southern Brazil, based on future A1B climatic scenarios presented in the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, in 2007. Sugarcane yield was evaluated for 2020, 2050, and 2080 considering the possible impacts caused by changes in temperature, precipitation, sunshine hours and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, as well as technological advances. Increasingly higher temperatures will cause an increase of the potential productivity (PP), since this variable positively affects the efficiency of the photosynthetic processes of C4 plants. Changes in solar radiation and rainfall, however, will have less impact. PP will increase by 15% in relation to the present condition in 2020, by 33% in 2050 and by 47% in 2080. Regarding the actual productivities (AP), the increase observed in PP will compensate for the negative effect of the projected increase in water deficit. AP will increase by 12% in relation to the present condition in 2020, by 32% in 2050 and by 47% in 2080. The increase in sugarcane productivity resulting from the projected scenarios will have important impacts on the sugarcane sector.

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Published
2009-10-01
How to Cite
Gouvêa, J., Sentelhas, P., Gazzola, S., & Santos, M. (2009). Climate changes and technological advances: impacts on sugarcane productivity in tropical southern Brazil . Scientia Agricola, 66(5), 593-605. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0103-90162009000500003
Section
Agrometeorology