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Rice and Climate Change

Rice and Climate Change

Rice can be considering as one of the main food crop. Rice farming system is more vulnerable to climate change. Other hand rice farming is one of the drivers of green house gas emission.

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is said that with climate change comes drought, submergence, salinity, and heat stress that threaten rice production. In addition to these extreme events, there are also gradual changes that may not seem critical at first, but can also affect rice. One example is a steady increase in night-time temperature that can lower rice yields. Another study reports that the variety IR8, well-known in the 1960s as the "miracle rice" can no longer produce 10 tons per hectare if grown in today's environment. An increase in night-time temperature was reported to be one of the many factors that likely caused a 15 percent drop in yield of IR8.

Climate change not only threatens our capacity to produce enough rice production for the world's burgeoning population - it will also determine how IRRI grow and produce rice (through adaptation and mitigation strategies) and can adversely affect grain quality.

IRRI collaborates with research institutes worldwide through the ( Rice and Climate Change Consortium which pools different scientific disciplines of IRRI's research agenda. Adaptation strategies encompass different areas ranging from improved varieties, shifting planting dates and water-saving irrigation, which all depend on conditions unique to each area. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is another goal because rice farming is a source of greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide which contribute to climate change.

Because of the number of challenges that climate change presents, a holistic approach to cope with its impacts are needed.

IRRI’s research on climate change includes:

  • Plant breeding to improve the resilience of rice to stresses such as drought, submergence, salinity, and higher temperatures.
  • Crop physiology and genetics to understand how climate change could damage rice plants and develop adaptation strategies for them.
  • Social science and geographic information systems (mapping) to identify what the vulnerabilities are to climate change of an area and create adaptation measures for rice production systems.
  • Soil and water management to assess the impacts of carbon, nitrogen, greenhouse gas emissions, and water under different patterns of land-uses.
  • Agro-meteorology to detect climatic trends.
  • Systems analysis and crop modeling to develop scenarios for greenhouse gas production and emission of rice production systems.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.