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A general adaptation strategy for climate change impacts on paddy cultivation: special reference to the Japanese contextAbstractIntroductionGeneral overview of projected climate change impacts on hydrology and agriculture in JapanGlobal warming impacts on the climate and hydrological regimes of JapanPredicted climate change impacts on Japanese agricultureResent observations of deleterious effects on Japanese agricultural production due to higher temperaturesCritical assessment of climate change impacts and implementation of adaptation strategiesClimate change impacts on paddy cultivation in JapanAssessment of climate change impacts on rice productionClimate change impacts on rice production through changes in hydrological regimeClimate change impacts on rural areas and activitiesA basic adaptation strategy for climate changeContinuous and improved impact assessmentImpact of higher air temperatureImpacts of precipitation pattern changeImpacts of sea-level riseMechanism and factors of climate change impactsAdaptive managementMitigation of global warming‘‘Mitameshi”?An adaptive management strategy for better human-nature relationshipsSummary: basic concept and strategy to address climate changeAcknowledgmentsReferencesARTICLEA general adaptation strategy for climate change impactson paddy cultivation: special reference to the Japanese contextTsugihiro Watanabe Æ Takashi KumeReceived: 2 August 2009 / Accepted: 14 September 2009 / Published online: 29 September 2009Ó Springer-Verlag 2009Abstract Climate changes due to global warming mayaffect paddy cultivation considerably. Climate changesdirectly affect rice plant growth, and within paddy culti-vation catchments, alter the hydrological regime includingflood patterns and water availability for irrigation, anddrainage. Although increased atmospheric CO2concentra-tions in the future may enhance plant growth through theCO2fertilization effect, impacts of climate change onagriculture are complicated and difficult to predict pre-cisely. This is especially the case for assessing impacts onpaddy cultivation, where basin hydrological behavior needsto be understood in detail. Possible adaptations to reducenegative impacts should be tailored to local conditions,which modify climate change impacts on paddy cultiva-tion. In this article, climate change impacts on paddy cul-tivation are reviewed and a general adaptation strategy isdiscussed with special reference to the Japanese context.Keywords Paddy cultivation  Global warming Climate change  Adaptation strategy Adaptive management  Japanese contextIntroductionClimate changes due to global warming may affect paddycultivation considerably, and anecdotal changes in paddygrowth and production have been observed in some areas.Climate changes may directly affect rice plant growththrough changes in air temperature, precipitation,evapotranspiration, and water temperature. Shifts in thehydrological regimes of catchments within which paddycultivation occurs might also be expected, includingchanges in flood patterns and water availability for paddyirrigation, and drainage conditions. Increased atmosphericCO2concentrations in the future, one of the major driversof global warming, may also enhance plant growth throughthe fertilization effect since CO2is an essential componentof photosynthesis.The projected agricultural impacts of climate change arein fact complicated processes, and are difficult to predictprecisely. This is especially the case for assessing impactson paddy cultivation, where basin hydrological behaviorneeds to be understood in detail. Impacts on paddy culti-vation may differ from place to place, especially betweentropical and temperate regions. As such, possible adapta-tions to reduce negative impacts should be tailored to localconditions, which modify climate change impacts on paddycultivation.In this article, the major issues underpinning climatechange impacts on Japanese paddy cultivation and relatedhydrology, and associated adaptation strategies, areoutlined.General overview of projected climate change impactson hydrology and agriculture in JapanGlobal warming impacts on the climateand hydrological regimes of JapanProjected climate changes (Science Council of Japan 2005)due to global warming are expected to decrease wintersnow fall and accumulation, and cause earlier and reducedsnow melt runoff in spring. Extreme rainfall events willT. Watanabe (&)  T. KumeResearch Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), 457-4Motoyama, Kamigamo, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8047, Japane-mail: [email protected] Water Environ (2009) 7:313–320DOI 10.1007/s10333-009-0179-5increase, leading to increased frequencies of serious floods.Conversely, extreme droughts are also projected in someareas. These Japanese projections mirror those made for theAsian region as a whole. Future sea-level rise may impedelowland drainage, and cause inundation of coastal farmlandand salt water intrusion of estuaries and groundwater.Summarized below are the Japan MeteorologicalAgency projections (2005) of future possible changes inJapanese climate by the end of the twenty first century:(1) Average temperatures will increase from 2.0 to 3.2°C,with a 1°C increase by 2030. Increases will besignificantly greater at higher latitudes.(2) Increased frequency of abnormal higher temperatures.Hot days, air temperature is larger than 30°C, mayextend over almost 4 months in summer.(3) Annual precipitation will increase, except for thesouthern Kyushu Area, while seasonal winter andspring precipitation will decrease in most regions.The number of no-rain days will increase across mostof Japan.(4) Snowfall will decrease across the whole of Japan,except for the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk.(5) The magnitude of Typhoons will increase.Predicted climate change impacts on JapaneseagricultureThe Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fish-eries (MAFF) (2008) predicts the major agriculturalimpacts of climate change to be as follows.(1) Higher temperature will affect crop physiology andgrowth, resulting in reduced production and decreas-ing quality. Conditions suitable for particular cropsmay shift to other regions. For example, with atemperature increase of 3°C in the Hokkaido Regionof north Japan, rice yields would increase by 13%,while an 8 to 15% yield decrease would be observedin southern regions. Suitable areas for apple produc-tion would expand north to the Hokkaido Region,while the area from the


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