Park, Jiyun (2012-08). Essays on Impacts of Climate Change on Agricultural Sector in the U.S.. Doctoral Dissertation.
This dissertation investigates: (1) the climate change effects on the mean and higher order moments of crop yield distributions; (2) the effects of irrigation with and without its interactive terms with climate variables; (3) the climate effects on crop mix and climate change adaptation.
The first essay explores how the climate change impacts the crop yield distribution. Using the flexible moment based approach, this study infers that external climate factors influence not only mean crop yield and variability, but also its higher order moments, skewness and kurtosis. The climate effects on each moment vary by crops.
The second essay examines the irrigation effects on the mean crop yield. While the irrigation effects estimated from the model with irrigation dummy are constant regardless of climate conditions, the irrigation effects estimated from the model with irrigation dummy and interactive variables between irrigation and climate are affected by external climate factors. This study shows that as temperature increases, the irrigation effects are decreased and irrigation reduces damages from extreme temperature conditions. Precipitation and PDSI effects are also diminished under irrigation.
The third essay explores the effects of climate on crop producers' choice. Our findings point out that the climate factors have significant impacts on crop choice and future climate change will alter the crop mix. Under the projected climate change of increasing temperature and precipitation, wheat and soybeans cropland will be switched to upland cotton. The major producing locations of upland cotton, rice, and soybeans will be shifted to the north. However, most of corn will be still cultivated in the Corn Belt and changes in acreage planted will not be significant.