Data set on changes in crop suitability under the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 emission scenario for thirty five crops in the Levant, Tigris-Euphrates, and Nile Basin

Published: 17 December 2018| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/5n39tsf4p7.1
Chafik Abdallah, Hadi Jaafar


We provide spatial data on changes in crop suitability for thirty six crops in the Levant, Tigris Euprates, and Nile River Basins between two periods: current conditions as the average of the years 1970-2000, and projected future conditions for the year 2050 as an average for the years 2041-2060. We generated the data by simulating mean monthly climatic data from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). These climatic data are downscaled to the 1-km scale from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report (AR5) (Stocker, 2014). Mean monthly climatic datasets were obtained from the WorldClim database ( to generate the suitability datasets using the FAO EcoCrop model (Eastman, 2015) under the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 emission scenario for three General Circulation Models: CCSM4, GFDL-CM3, and HadGEM2-ES with a spatial resolution of 30 arc-seconds. The crops are alfalfa, apple, apricot, barley, beans, cabbage, cannabis, carrot, cherry, chickpeas, clover, coffee, cotton, cucumber, dates, eggplant, grape, lettuce, maize, olive, onion, orange, peas, pepper, potato, rice, sorghum, soybean, sugar beet, sugarcane, sunflower, tobacco, tomato, vetch, watermelon, and wheat.


Steps to reproduce

The EcoCrop model as programmed in Terrset software (Eastman 2015) is used to model the suitability of thirty six crops (Hijmans et al. 2001). EcoCrop considers the environmental ranges as inputs that would allow the determination of the central niche of a crop after which a suitability index is generated as an output. A detailed description of the model is found in Ramirez-Villegas et al. (2013). In brief, we run the model twice, first for current (1970-2000) climatic conditions and second for future (2050) climatic conditions for each of the analyzed crops. Using FAO crop ecological database, we generate two sets of crop suitability maps for the basins, one for current conditions and another set for the future conditions. Each set of maps is composed of nineteen maps (one map for each crop). The two datasets can be subtracted to generate the maps for the changes in crop suitability due to climate change.


American University of Beirut Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Climate Prediction, Water, Climate Change, Agricultural Development, Cereal Crop, Agroecosystem Sustainability, Agricultural Diversification, Crop Characteristics, Climate Variation, Climate Policy