Projected changes of thermal growing season over Northern Eurasia in a 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming world
Projected changes of the thermal growing season (TGS) over Northern Eurasia at 1.5 °C and 2 °C global warming levels are investigated using 22 CMIP5 models under both RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. The multi-model mean projections indicate Northern Eurasia will experience extended and intensified TGSs in a warmer world. The prolongation of TGSs under 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming is attributed to both earlier onset and later termination, with the latter factor playing a dominating role. Interestingly, earlier onset is of greater importance under RCP4.5 than under RCP8.5 in prolonging TGS as the world warms by an additional 0.5 °C. Under both RCPs, growing degree day sum (GDD) above 5 °C is anticipated to increase by 0 °C-450 °C days and 0 °C-650 °C days over Northern Eurasia at 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming, respectively. However, effective GDD (EGDD) which accumulates optimum temperature for the growth of wheat, exhibits a decline in the south of Central Asia under warmer climates. Therefore, for wheat production over Northern Eurasia, adverse effects incurred by scorching temperatures and resultant inadequacy in water availability may counteract benefits from lengthening and warming TGS. In response to a future 1.5 °C and 2 °C warmer world, proper management and scientifically-tailored adaptation are imperative to optimize local-regional agricultural production.