Frankfurt Hydrology Paper
Global estimation of monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas on a 5 arc-minute grid
Felix Theodor Portmann
- Agriculture of crops provides more than 85% of the energy in human diet, while also securing income of more than 2.6 billion people. To investigate past, present and future changes in the domain of food security, water resources and water use, nutrient cycles, and land management it is required to know the agricultural land use, in particular which crop grows where and when. The current global land use or land cover data sets are based on remote sensing and agricultural census statistics. In general, these only contain one or very few classes of agricultural land use. When crop-specific areas are given, no distinction of irrigated and rainfed areas is made, whereas it is necessary to distinguish rainfed and irrigated crops, because crop productivity and water use differ significantly between them.
To support global-scale assessments that are sensitive to agricultural land use, the global data set of Monthly Irrigated and Rainfed Crop Areas around the year 2000 (MIRCA2000) was developed by the author. With a spatial resolution of 5 arc-minutes (approximately 9.2 km at the equator), MIRCA2000 provides for the first time, spatially explicit irrigated and rainfed crop areas separately for each of the 26 crop classes for each month of the year, and includes multi-cropping. The data set covers all major food crops as well as cotton, while the remaining crops are grouped into three categories (perennial, annual and fodder grasses). Also for the first time, crop calendars on national or sub-national level were consistently linked to annual values of harvested area at the 5 arc-minutes grid cell level, such that monthly growing areas could be computed that are representative for the time period 1998 to 2002.
The downscaling algorithm maximizes the consistency to the grid-based input data of cropland extent [Ramankutty et al., 2008], crop-specific total annual harvested area [Monfreda et al., 2008], and area equipped for irrigation [Siebert et al., 2007]. In addition to the methodology, this dissertation describes differences to other datasets and standard scaling methods, as well as some applications. For quality assessment independent datasets and newly developed quality parameters are used, and scale effects are discussed.
Supplementary Appendices document crop calendars for irrigated and rainfed crops for each of the 402 spatial units (Appendix I), data sources of harvested area and of cropping periods for irrigated crops, country by country (Appendix K), as well as data quality parameters (Appendix L, including spreadsheet files).
Towards mapping the extent of irrigation in the last century : time series of irrigated area per country
- A data set of annual values of area equipped for irrigation for all 236 countries in the world during the time period 1900 - 2003 was generated. The basis for this data product was information available through various online data bases and from other published materials. The complete time series were then constructed around the reported data applying six statistical methods. The methods are discussed in terms of reliability and data uncertainties. The total area equipped for irrigation in the world in 1900 was 53.2 million hectares. Irrigation was mainly practiced in all the arid regions of the globe and in paddy rice areas of South and East Asia. In some temperate countries in Western Europe irrigation was practiced widely on pastures and meadows. The time series suggest a modest rate of increase of irrigated areas in the first half of the 20th century followed by a more dynamic development in the second half. The turn of the century is characterized by an overall consolidating trend resulting at a total of 285.8 million hectares in 2003. The major contributing countries have changed little throughout the century. This data product is regarded as a preliminary result toward an ongoing effort to develop a detailed data set and map of areas equipped for irrigation in the world over the 20th century using sub-national statistics and historical irrigation maps.
A digital global map of irrigated areas : an update for Asia
- The Land and Water Development Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, are cooperating in the development of a global irrigation-mapping facility. This report describes an update of the Digital Global Map of Irrigated Areas for the continent of Asia. For this update, an inventory of subnational irrigation statistics for the continent was compiled. The reference year for the statistics is 2000. Adding up the irrigated areas per country as documented in the report gives a total of 188.5 million ha for the entire continent. The total number of subnational units used in the inventory is 4 428. In order to distribute the irrigation statistics per subnational unit, digital spatial data layers and printed maps were used. Irrigation maps were derived from project reports, irrigation subsector studies, and books related to irrigation and drainage. These maps were digitized and compared with satellite images of many regions. In areas without spatial information on irrigated areas, additional information was used to locate areas where irrigation is likely, such as land-cover and land-use maps that indicate agricultural areas or areas with crops that are usually grown under irrigation. Contents 1. Working Report I: Generation of a map of administrative units compatible with statistics used to update the Digital Global Map of Irrigated Areas in Asia 2. Working Report II: The inventory of subnational irrigation statistics for the Asian part of the Digital Global Map of Irrigated Areas 3. Working Report III: Geospatial information used to locate irrigated areas within the subnational units in the Asian part of the Digital Global Map of Irrigated Areas 4. Working Report IV: Update of the Digital Global Map of Irrigated Areas in Asia, Results Maps