Cottoning onto warmer farming in Central Asia #climate

Researchers from the Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory, Saint Petersburg have assessed future climate change impacts on agriculture in the Central Asian republics.

The analysis looks at the consequences of global warming for the main branches of agriculture in Central Asia, such as cotton, wheat and barley by the middle of 21st century.

They found that global warming leading to the significant growth of heat supply during the vegetation period which may extend the northward cotton zone by 500km. It is very promising for the development of cotton growing in Central Asia, and in order to achieve these means it is highly important to provide enough water for the irrigation of the lands.

The researchers believe that the global warming will have a positive effect on the cultivation of grain crops grown on dry lands. The improvement of the heat and moisture potential for spring wheat and barley will allow the redistribution of grain-producing areas in order to enlarge the areas for the dry farming; this is primary important for the agriculture development in extremely arid climate of Central Asia.

Lastly, scientists encourage to focus on area-specific information in future research, as it will enhance the management of the Central Asian agricultural sector and favor the development of adaptation measures to the regional climate change in agriculture at the national level.

Shkolnik, I. M., Pigol’tsina, G. B., & Efimov, S. V. (2019). Agriculture in the Arid Regions of Eurasia and Global Warming: RCM Ensemble Projections for the Middle of the 21st Century. Russian Meteorology and Hydrology, 44(8), 540-547.

Original source:

Photo: working on a cotton farm, Tajikstan by World Bank Photo Collection, available at

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