Prediction of Rice Production in the Philippines Using Seasonal Climate Forecasts

Robertson, Andrew W.; Ines, Amor Valeriano M.; Qian, Jianhua; DeWitt, David G.; Lucero, Anthony; Koide, Naohisa

Predictive skills of retrospective seasonal climate forecasts (hindcasts) tailored to Philippine rice production data at national, regional, and provincial levels are investigated using precipitation hindcasts from one uncoupled general circulation model (GCM) and two coupled GCMs, as well as using antecedent observations of tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures, warm water volumes (WWV), and zonal winds (ZW). Contrasting cross-validated predictive skills are found between the “dry” January–June and “rainy” July–December crop-production seasons. For the dry season, both irrigated and rain-fed rice production are shown to depend strongly on rainfall in the previous October–December. Furthermore, rice-crop hindcasts based on the two coupled GCMs, or on the observed WWV and ZW, are each able to account for more than half of the total variance of the dry-season national detrended rice production with about a 6-month lead time prior to the beginning of the harvest season. At regional and provincial levels, predictive skills are generally low. The relationships are found to be more complex for rainy-season rice production. Area harvested correlates positively with rainfall during the preceding dry season, whereas the yield has positive and negative correlations with rainfall in June–September and in October–December of the harvested year, respectively. Tropical cyclone activity is also shown to be a contributing factor in the latter 3-month season. Hindcasts based on the WWV and ZW are able to account for almost half of the variance of the detrended rice production data in Luzon with a few months’ lead time prior to the beginning of the rainy season.

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Also Published In

Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Published Here
April 12, 2013