Crop modeling for climate change impact and adaptation

Senthold Asseng, Yan Zhu, Enli Wang, Weijian Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Physiology-based crop simulation models have become a key tool in extrapolating the impact of climate change from limited experimental evidence to broader climatic zones, soil types, crop management regimens, crops and climate change scenarios. While these models are a simplification of the reality, they allow a first assessment of the complexity of climate change impact in agriculture. They are playing an increasingly important role in assisting agriculture to adapt to climate change. This includes the use of modeling to optimize management practices, assist in breeding programs, develop new crop rotations and maximize the value of seasonal climate forecasts. In order to meet the increasing demand for assessment of climate change impact, crop models need to be further improved and tested with climate change scenarios involving various changes in ambient temperature and CO2 concentration. Current knowledge gaps include limited understanding and modeling of the interactive impact of climate factors, the impact of extreme events (e.g. heat stress, frost and excess water) occurring at different crop stages, sink-source relationships, and changes in yield quality of crops under future climates. Despite these knowledge gaps, crop models have improved our understanding of the impacts of climate change on many aspects of local and world food production. They have facilitated establishment of new hypotheses for climate change studies, stimulated investigations into climate change adaptation, and assisted in communicating to the public and policy makers that continued climate change could have devastating impacts on food supply.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrop Physiology
Subtitle of host publicationApplications for Genetic Improvement and Agronomy: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages42
ISBN (Print)9780124171046
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Agriculture
  • Climate change
  • Crop modeling
  • Crop physiology
  • Impact
  • Management practices
  • Plant breeding


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