Climate change and crop yields in the Indian Cardamom Hills, 1978?2007 CE
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Climate Change, Springer Science+Business Media B.V.2011 (2011)
In this study we analyzed climate and crop yields data from Indian cardamom hills for the period 1978?2007 to investigate whether there were significant changes in weather elements, and if such changes have had significant impact on the production of spices and plantation crops. Spatial and temporal variations in air temperatures (maximum and minimum), rainfall and relative humidity are evident across stations. The mean air temperature increased significantly during the last 30 years; the greatest increase and the largest significant upward trend was observed in the daily temperature. The highest increase in minimum temperature was registered for June (0.37?C/18 years) at the Myladumpara station. December and January showed greater warming across the stations. Rainfall during the main monsoon months (June?September) showed a downward trend. Relative humidity showed increasing and decreasing trends, respectively, at the cardamom and tea growing tracts. The warming trend coupled with frequent wet and dry spells during the summer is likely to have a favorable effect on insect pests and disease causing organisms thereby pesticide consumption can go up both during excess rainfall and drought years. The incidence of many minor pest insects and disease pathogens has increased in the recent years of our study along with warming. Significant and slight increases in the yield of small cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum M.) and coffee (Coffea arabica), respectively, were noticed in the recent years.; however the improvement of yield in tea (Thea sinensis) and black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) has not been seen in our analysis.
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