Climatic effect of irrigation over the Yellow River basin

April 19, 2017

As the sensitive areas of global climate change, Yellow River basin, situated in arid and semiarid regions, also plays an important role in food production. However, using water resources in the Yellow River basin is challenging due to the drought and increasing water consumption.

"The large-scale agricultural irrigation is an important process in the utilization of water resources in Yellow River basin," said Dr. CHEN Liang, an assistant researcher in the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and also the first author of a paper recently published in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters.

"The agricultural irrigation affects the regional climate mainly through changing the surface water process. There have been studies on climate change effect incurred by the change of the soil moisture, but the role of irrigation has not been sufficiently depicted in those studies," he said.

CHEN and his team developed a new irrigation scheme based on the Noah land surface model, and then coupled it with the Weather Research and Forecasting regional climate model. Two simulations (with and without irrigation) were conducted over the Yellow River basin for the period April to October 2000-2010.

The results indicated that when irrigation was induced, the mean surface air temperature decreased, and there was a correspond increase (decrease) in latent (sensible) heat flux over the irrigated areas. The cooling effect was consistent with the changes in evapotranspiration and heat fluxes due to irrigation. The agriculture irrigation will lead to a greater probability of cloud formation which then impacted the spatial distribution of surface sir temperature and precipitation.

"These studies will provide science advice to water use sustainable development in Yellow River basin," said CHEN, "In the future, we would like to use different irrigation method to asses the impact of irrigation on regional climate and hydrologic cycles."
-end-


Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Related Irrigation Articles from Brightsurf:

Water consumption for trees is calculated in order to design precision irrigation systems
A University of Cordoba and Spanish National Research Council research team validated an indicator based on using a tree's temperature to calculate relative water consumption at an almond tree plantation

Water-saving alternative forage crops for Texas livestock
With increasing drought conditions in the Texas High Plains, researchers test sorghum and pearl millet as alternatives to corn.

Technology is studied that could save 12% of the energy used in pressurized irrigation
A study, performed in two Andalusian provinces, analyzed the potential of producing electricity by means of recovering hydraulic energy by implanting new technology based on pumps working as turbines

Can oilfield water safely be reused for irrigation in California?
Reusing low-saline oilfield water mixed with surface water to irrigate farms in the Cawelo Water District of California does not pose major health risks, as some opponents of the practice have feared, a study led by Duke University and RTI International researchers finds.

Expansion, environmental impacts of irrigation by 2050 greatly underestimated
New research suggests that the amount of farmland that will need to be irrigated to feed the global population by 2050 could be up to several billion acres, far higher than scientists currently project.

Turned-down temperatures boost crops' penchant for production
Drought and heat put stress on plants and reduce grain yield.

Irrigation alleviates hot extremes
Researchers from ETH Zurich and other universities found evidence that expanding irrigation has dampened anthropogenic warming during hot days, with particularly strong effects over South Asia.

Specifying irrigation needs for container-grown plants
Open-field production of 524,000 irrigated acres of horticultural plants in the United States used 205 billion gallons of water in a recent year.

Water management grows farm profits
A study investigates effects of irrigation management on yield and profit.

Oil and gas wastewater used for irrigation may suppress plant immune systems
A new Colorado State University study gives pause to the idea of using oil and gas wastewater for irrigation.

Read More: Irrigation News and Irrigation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.