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Typologies of crop-drought vulnerability: an empirical analysis of the socio-economic factors that influence the sensitivity and resilience to drought of three major food crops in China (1961-2001)

Simelton, E, Fraser, EDG, Termansen, M, Forster, PM and Dougill, AJ (2009) Typologies of crop-drought vulnerability: an empirical analysis of the socio-economic factors that influence the sensitivity and resilience to drought of three major food crops in China (1961-2001). Environmental Science & Policy, 12 (4). 438 - 452 . ISSN 1462-9011

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Abstract

Why is it that sometimes small droughts trigger serious crop losses while in other cases even large droughts do not have such a major effect? In this paper, we identify socio-economic indicators associated with sensitivity and resilience to drought for each of China's main grain crops (rice, wheat and corn). Provincial harvest and rainfall data (1961-2001) are used to calculate an annual "crop-drought vulnerability index". We separate "sensitive cases" (where significant harvest losses occurred in years with only minor droughts) and "resilient cases" (where harvest losses were minimal despite there being a major drought) and explore the socio-economic characteristics of these different situations. Results show that sensitive cases were particularly common in economically poor landlocked provinces and in wealthy coastal areas that have a limited land base. in such "sensitive cases", the size of the rural population and the quantity of agricultural inputs were negatively correlated with drought vulnerability, while for resilient cases, vulnerability was negatively correlated with the abundance of land. This leads us to propose a series of drought-vulnerability typologies based on the extent to which land, labour, capital, agricultural technology, and infrastructure buffer or exacerbate the effect of a drought event.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Climate change impacts, Adaptability, Resilience, Food security, Crop model, Climate-change, Social vulnerability, Environmental-change, Adaptive capacity, Exploring options, Modeling approach, Water-balance, Past famines, Less water, Agriculture
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2011 12:40
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:34
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2008.11.005
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier Science Ltd
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.envsci.2008.11.005
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43310

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