Assessing the impact of climate change on representative field crops in Israeli agriculture: A case study of wheat and cotton

David Haim, Mordechai Shechter, Pedro Berliner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Climate changes, associated with accumulation of greenhouse gases, are expected to have a profound influence on agricultural sustainability in Israel, a semi-arid area characterized by a cold wet winter and a dry warm summer. Accordingly this study explored economic aspects of agricultural production under projected climate-change scenarios by the "production function" approach, as applied to two representative crops: wheat, as the major crop grown in Israel's dry southern region, and cotton, representing the more humid climate in the north. Adjusting outputs of the global climate model HadCM3 to the specific research locations, we generated projections for 2070-2100 temperatures and precipitations for two climate change scenarios. Results for wheat vary among climate scenarios; net revenues become negative under the severe scenario (change from -145 to -273%), but may increase under the moderate one (-43 to +35%), depending on nitrogen applied to the crop. Distribution of rain events was found to play a major role in determining yields. By contrast, under both scenarios cotton experiences a considerable decrease in yield with significant economic losses (-240 and -173% in A2 and B2 scenarios, respectively). Additional irrigation and nitrogen may reduce farming losses, unlike changes in seeding dates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-440
Number of pages16
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research is part of the GLOWA-Jordan River Project funded by theGerman Ministry of Science and Education (BMBF) in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). We thank Dr. David Bonfil for his professional assistance and for providing experimental data for this research, and Prof. Pinhas Alpert and Prof. Shimon Krichak for their advice and for providing the climatic data. Finally, very constructive comments by three anonymous reviewers are acknowledged with gratitude.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the impact of climate change on representative field crops in Israeli agriculture: A case study of wheat and cotton'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this