How China's farmers adapt to climate change
This paper uses a cross sectional method to analyze irrigation choice and crop choice across 8,405 farmers in 28 provinces in China. The findings show that Chinese farmers are more likely to irrigate when facing lower temperatures and less precipitation. Farmers in warmer places are more likely to choose oil crops, maize, and especially cotton and wheat, and are less likely to choose vegetables, potatoes, sugar, and especially rice and soybeans. In wetter locations, farmers are more likely to choose soybeans, oil crops, sugar, vegetables, cotton, and especially rice, and they are less likely to choose potatoes, wheat, and especially maize. The analysis of how Chinese farmers have adapted to current climate, provides insight into how they will likely adapt when climate changes. Future climate scenarios will cause farmers in China to want to reduce irrigation and shift toward oil crops, wheat, and especially cotton. In turn, farmers will shift away from potatoes, rice, vegetables, and soybeans. However, adaptation will likely vary greatly from region to region. Policy makers should anticipate that adaptation is important, that the magnitude of changes depends on the climate scenario, andthat the desired changes depend on the location of each farm.
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