Air Monitoring

Simulating the Effect of Climate Change on Agriculture

Dec 07 2017 Comments 0

Increased atmospheric CO2 levels and climate change are believed to contribute to extreme weather conditions, which is a major concern for many. And beyond extreme events, global warming is also predicted to affect agriculture.

While climate change is expected to affect agriculture and reduce crop yields, the complete effects of climate change on agriculture and the resultant human food supplies are yet to be fully understood.2,3,4

Simulating a Changing Climate

In order to understand how changes in CO2, temperature and water availability caused by climate change have an impact on crop growth and food availability, Researchers often use controlled growth chambers to grow plants in conditions that mimic the predicted atmospheric conditions at the end of the century. These controlled growth chambers enable precise control of temperature, CO2 levels, humidity, water availability, light quality and soil quality, allowing Scientists to study how plant growth changes in response to elevated temperatures, elevated CO2 levels and altered water availability.

However, plant growth / behaviour in the field considerably varies from in growth chambers. Owing to differences in light intensity, light quality, evaporative demand, temperature fluctuations and other abiotic and biotic stress factors, the growth of plants in tiny, controlled growth chambers does not always sufficiently reflect plant growth in the field. Moreover, the less realistic the experimental conditions used during simulation experiments of climate change, the less likely the resultant predictions will reflect reality.4

Several attempts have been made over the past 30 years to more closely stimulate climate change growing scenarios including free air CO2 enrichment, open top chambers, free air temperature increases and temperature gradient tunnels, although all these methods are known to have major disadvantages. For instance, chamber-less CO2 exposure systems do not enable stringent control of gas concentrations, while other systems suffer from “chamber effects” such as changes in humidity, wind velocity, temperature, soil quality and light quality.4,5

Spanish Researchers have recently reported temperature gradient greenhouses and growth chamber greenhouses, which are specifically designed to remove some of the disadvantages of simulating the effects of climate change on crop growth in growth chambers. An article reporting their methodology was featured in Plant Science in 2014, describing how the Researchers used temperature gradient greenhouses and growth chamber greenhouses to simulate climate change conditions and study plant responses.4

Choosing the Right Growth Chamber

Compared to traditional growth chambers, temperature gradient greenhouses and controlled growth chambers offer increased working area, allowing them to work as greenhouses without the necessity for isolation panels while still allowing precise control of various environmental factors such as temperature, CO2 concentration and water availability.

Researchers have used these greenhouses to investigate the potential effects of climate change on the growth of grapevine, alfalfa and lettuce.

CO2 Sensors for Climate Change Research

Researchers investigating the effects of climate change on plant growth using greenhouses or growth chambers will require highly accurate CO2 measurements.

The Spanish Researchers used Edinburgh Sensors Guardian sensor in their greenhouses to provide accurate and reliable COmeasurements. As a customer-focused provider of high-quality gas sensing solutions, Edinburgh Sensors has been delivering gas sensors to the research community since the 1980s.4,6

The Guardian NG from Edinburgh Sensors

The Edinburgh Sensors Guardian NG provides precise CO2 measurements in research greenhouses simulating climate change scenarios. The sensor provides near-analyser quality continuous measurement of CO2 concentrations, operates in temperatures of 0-45 °C and relative humidity of 0-95%, and has a CO2 detection range of 0 to 3000 ppm. These features make Guardian NG suitable for use in greenhouses with conditions meant to simulate climate change scenarios.

In addition, the Guardian NG can be easily installed as a stand-alone product in greenhouses to measure CO2, or in tandem with CO2 controllers as done by the Spanish Researchers in their temperature gradient and growth control greenhouses.4,6

Conclusions

In order to understand the potential effects of climate change on plant growth and crop yields, it is important to simulate climate change scenarios in elevated CO2 concentrations. For such studies, accurate CO2 concentration measurements are very important.

The Guardian NG from Edinburgh Sensors is the ideal option for Researchers constructing research greenhouses for climate change simulation

For further information please click here.

Read comments0

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.


Digital Edition

International Environmental Technology November / December 2017

December 2017

In This Edition... Business News - New Building for Sales Center Chile - Hach Company Acquires Belgian Manufacturer AppliTek Water / Wastewater - Microplastic Pollution: Everyone’s P...

View all digital editions

Events

Biogas Convention and Trade Fair

Dec 12 2017 Nuremberg, Germany

Energy from Biomass Combustion

Jan 09 2018 Leeds, UK

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

Jan 13 2018 Abu Dhabi, UAE

World Future Energy Summit

Jan 15 2018 Abu Dhabi, UAE

Gulf Coast Conference

Jan 17 2018 Houston, TX, USA

View all events