The impact of future climate change on bean cultivation in the Prespa Lake catchment
27 Apr 2020
A layman’s summary of findings
A few days ago, a paper published in the Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration assesses the potential impacts of future climate change on bean cultivation in the Prespa region. A state-of-the-art model was used for the assessment and projections show a significant rise in temperature (1-6oC) by the end of this century. Average wet season precipitation is not expected to change, but year-to-year precipitation variability and dry-spell length will increase substantially.
The impact of these future climatic changes on the planting, growth and harvesting of current bean varieties was evaluated. We found that days with unsuitably high temperatures (average temperature higher than 16oC) during the seed stage will increase, while days with optimum temperatures (maximum temperatures between 21oC and 26oC) during the growth- and blossoming stage will decrease. Current irrigation methods, using lake-water, will also become more difficult to continue in the future. Very low lake levels will become more common and prohibit the uptake of lake water for irrigation.
Local bean cultivation is therefore negatively affected by future climate change. We recommended that heat and drought-resistant varieties of beans, without the need for (much) irrigation, should be prioritized and promoted for climate-proof agriculture. Sustainable irrigation methods, such as drip irrigation and the use of recycled wastewater, should be selected in the future.
The work behind this publication was carried out by the National Observatory of Athens within the framework of the LIFE15 NAT/GR/000936 – Prespa Waterbirds project.
You can find the published article here.