Climate Smart Lab research team (Toyin Adekanmbi, Xiuquan Wang, Sana Basheer, Rana Ali Nawaz, Tianze Pang, Yulin Hu, and Suqi Liu) recently published a study on the assessment of future climate change impacts on potato yields in Prince Edward Island, Canada in the Foods journal.
Crop yields are adversely affected by climate change; therefore, it is crucial to develop climate adaptation strategies to mitigate the impacts of increasing climate variability on the agriculture system to ensure food security. As one of the largest potato-producing provinces in Canada, Prince Edward Island (PEI) has recently experienced significant instability in potato production. PEI’s local farmers and stakeholders are extremely concerned about the prospects for the future of potato farming industries in the context of climate change. This study aims to use the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) potato model to simulate future potato yields under the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) climate scenarios (including SSP1–1.9, SSP1–2.6, SSP2–4.5, SSP3–7.0, and SSP5–8.5). The study evaluates the combined effects of changing climatic conditions at local scales (i.e., warming temperature and changing precipitation patterns) and increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere. The results indicate future significant declines in potato yield in PEI under the current farming practices. In particular, under the high-emission scenarios (e.g., SSP3–7.0 and SSP5–8.5), the potato yield in PEI would decline by 48% and 60% in the 2070s and by 63% and 80% by 2090s; even under the low-emission scenarios (i.e., SSP1–1.9 and SSP1–2.6), the potato yield in PEI would still decline by 6%−10%. This implies that it is important to develop effective climate adaptation measures (e.g., adjusting farming practices and introducing supplemental irrigation plans) to ensure the long-term sustainability of potato production in PEI.