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Future Climate Change Impacts on Malta’s Agriculture, Based on Multi-model Results from WCRP’s CMIP5

  • Charles GaldiesEmail author
  • Kimberly Vella
Chapter
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)

Abstract

Based on the World Climate Research Program’s (WCRP) predicted changes in the magnitude and distribution of regional precipitation and temperature, this study assesses the future viability of agriculture in the Maltese islands, which are situated in the central Mediterranean region considered by many as a climate change hotspot. The analysis uses the latest results from an ensemble of 11 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) models addressing IPCC’s four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) for the years 2050 and 2070 as provided by WorldClim database. Using statistical, empirical crop- and livestock-modeling techniques, this unique study shows that future climate change is likely to negatively affect Malta’s natural freshwater supplies, livestock and crop survival. As a consequence, the distribution of the already stressed local arable land will change, modifying production patterns and economics. The analysis of multi-model predictions provided a more robust evaluation of the likely impacts of physical and bioclimatic factors that are of relevance to local agriculture. Irrespective of which RCP scenario is considered, we find that the expected losses in productivity and food quality will be significant.

Keywords

Malta Agriculture Climate change impacts CMIP5 Evapotranspiration Thermal-humidity index Model clustering Heat stress 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Management and Planning Division, Institute of Earth SystemsUniversity of MaltaMsida MsdMalta

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