Climatic zones in the Cauca River Valley

Chica Ramírez, HA; Peña Quiñones, AJ. | JAN 2024 | ISBN 978-958-8449-36-4


Climate zoning based on meteorological indicators is of utmost importance not only to facilitate its study, but because it has special relevance in the planning of various activities, particularly in agriculture in which climate plays a fundamental role (Piri et al., 2017). In a certain sense, climate zoning based on the analysis of various meteorological elements, translated into indices, allows, according to Eslava (1993), to characterize climate conditions and their temporal and spatial evolution. Criterion supported by Lowry (1973), who states that classification is the best tool to define climate. In this regard, classifications such as that of Caldas-Lang (Eslava et al., 1986), that of De Martonne (Eslava et al., 1986a) and even that proposed by Köppen (Eslava et al., 1986b) are based on the appreciation that climate is the convergence of a set of meteorological elements and phenomena and not the effect of just one of them. And although the aforementioned characterizations only consider precipitation and air temperature, Pabón et al. (2001) argue that these variables – one related to humidity and the other to radiation – synthesize the behavior of the climate of a region.

On the other hand, it is pertinent to mention that although the efforts of Eslava et al. were meritorious. (1986) to classify the country's climate, based on the characteristics of the Cauca River valley and the scale used in said studies, in their perspective the entire valley is covered by a single type of climate. This consideration could have some justification in the fact that this valley is an alluvial plain with few differences in altitude and an average annual precipitation of 1200 mm. But it is a fact that, unlike the rest of the national territory, the distinctive characteristic of the Cauca Valley is its warm semi-humid climate (Narváez and León, 2001).

This document proposes an objective classification methodology for the region's climate that allows identifying spatial patterns or areas with contrasting climate offerings. If climate is supply, its demand is determined by the specific characteristics of the crop it influences, in this case sugar cane. It was decided, then, that the classification should be based on variables that had a direct effect on the sugarcane groecosystem.

For this purpose, it was established that, among the environmental factors that affect the growth and survival of plants, light is the most important (Bickford and Dunn, 1972), which is why in this classification particular attention was paid to radiation. global solar energy, which, although it involves a broader wavelength spectrum than that of visible light, has a close relationship with it1. The study also took into account that the temperature of the environment in which plants, microorganisms and arthropods, mostly ectotherms, grow, determines their development (Willey, 2016), and that air temperature has a marked influence on some parameters associated with quality. o efficiency of sugar cane to generate a special type of disaccharide. For example, in areas of the region with a prevalence of low values ​​of average air temperature, the accumulation of sucrose in the stems of sugar cane increases, as happens in other latitudes (Clements, 1962; Alexander, 1973). In this regard, it is worth mentioning that in the Cauca River Valley the use of thermal amplitude – better known in the regional context as daily oscillation of air temperature – has become widespread to characterize the effect of decreasing air temperature in the nights with respect to the daily maximum. This index or synthetic climate variable considers the effect proposed by Cardozo and Sentelhas (2013), whereby the colder the nights are, the more favorable the ripening conditions are. Both precipitation and relative air humidity were added to this classification, since the total volume of water fallen in a given period determines the soil moisture regime, defines the natural productivity of a site and guides management and adaptation activities. crops such as irrigation and drainage. On the other hand, the relative humidity of the air reflects the water content in the atmosphere, which can serve as a guide to establish the sites and times of greatest probability of pathogen invasion (e.g., Sumida et al., 2019). .

About the authors

Chica Ramirez, HA

Agricultural Engineer from the University of Caldas, master's degree in Mathematics from the Technological University of Pereira and doctoral candidate in Engineering from the University of Valle. He has more than 20 years of experience in the area of ​​analysis and design of experiments, stochastic simulation and deterministic and statistical modeling of crops in the coffee and sugar sector in companies such as Cenicafé and Cenicaña. He is a speaker at national and international conferences and seminars. He currently works as head of the Cenicaña Analytics Service, performing functions in mathematical optimization and formulation of projects aimed at mathematical modeling of chains.

Peña Quiñones, AJ

Agricultural Engineer, graduated from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the National University of Colombia, Palmira headquarters, obtained his master's degree in Sciences, Meteorology area, at the Faculty of Sciences of the National University of Colombia, Bogotá headquarters and his doctorate in Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University from the State of Washington, in the United States. More than 20 years of experience in the practice of Agroclimatology and more of 40 published articles, was linked between 2018 and 2020 to the Cenicaña Agronomy Program and is currently a researcher associate of the Colombian Research Corporation Agriculture (AGROSAVIA) at the La Research Center Libertad, in the city of Villavicencio.

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