Climatic Change

, Volume 147, Issue 3–4, pp 539–553 | Cite as

An EPIC model-based wheat drought risk assessment using new climate scenarios in China

  • Yaojie Yue
  • Lin Wang
  • Jian Li
  • A-xing Zhu


There is considerable research interest in future agro-drought risk assessment, since the increasing severity of climate change-related hazards poses a great threat to global food security. Wheat is the most important staple crop in the world, and China’s wheat production has long been impacted by drought. The frequency, intensity, and duration of droughts may increase due to climate change and stressing the need for robust assessment methods for drought risk, as well as adaptation and mitigation strategies. This paper investigates a method for assessing future wheat drought risk using climate scenarios and a crop model. We illustrate the utility of such an approach by assessing the risk of wheat drought under climate change scenarios in China using the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model. Results show that the risk level of wheat drought is highest under scenario RCP8.5, followed by RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP2.6, in descending order. If current climate change trends continue, wheat drought risk in China will be at risk levels between RCP6.0 and RCP8.5 by the end of the twenty-first century. The wheat drought risk assessment shows a “low-risk, high-risk, low-risk” spatial pattern starting in the spring wheat-planting regions in northern China and progressing to the winter wheat-planting regions in southern China. Significant differences were observed across regions, but in all RCP scenarios, the relative high-risk zones are the Huang-Huai Winter Wheat Region and the North Winter Wheat Region. In addition, wheat drought risk mitigation and adaptation strategies in China are proposed.



This research is financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program (No. 2016YFA0602402), the National Natural Science Foundation (No. 41271515) and the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2012CB955403) of China. Thanks should also be given to the anonymous reviewers and editor for their comments to improve the quality of this article.

Supplementary material

10584_2018_2150_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13.1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 13.0 mb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Ministry of EducationBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Geographical ScienceBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency ManagementBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application and School of GeographyNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  5. 5.Department of GeographyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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