Natural Resources, School of

 

Date of this Version

2013

Citation

Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 170 (2013) 166–182

Comments

This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.

Abstract

The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is a major international effort linking the climate, crop, and economic modeling communities with cutting-edge information technology to produce improved crop and economic models and the next generation of climate impact projections for the agricultural sector. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. Analyses of the agricultural impacts of climate variability and change require a transdisciplinary effort to consistently link state-of-the-art climate scenarios to crop and economic models. Crop model outputs are aggregated as inputs to regional and global economic models to determine regional vulnerabilities, changes in comparative advantage, price effects, and potential adaptation strategies in the agricultural sector. Climate, Crop Modeling, Economics, and Information Technology Team Protocols are presented to guide coordinated climate, crop modeling, economics, and information technology research activities around the world, along with AgMIP Cross-Cutting Themes that address uncertainty, aggregation and scaling, and the development of Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) to enable testing of climate change adaptations in the context of other regional and global trends. The organization of research activities by geographic region and specific crops is described, along with project milestones. Pilot results demonstrate AgMIP’s role in assessing climate impacts with explicit representation of uncertainties in climate scenarios and simulations using crop and economic models. An intercomparison of wheat model simulations near Obregón, Mexico reveals inter-model differences in yield sensitivity to [CO2] with model uncertainty holding approximately steady as concentrations rise, while uncertainty related to choice of crop model increases with rising temperatures. Wheat model simulations with midcentury climate scenarios project a slight decline in absolute yields that is more sensitive to selection of crop model than to global climate model, emissions scenario, or climate scenario downscaling method. A comparison of regional and national-scale economic simulations finds a large sensitivity of projected yield changes to the simulations’ resolved scales. Finally, a global economic model intercomparison example demonstrates that improvements in the understanding of agriculture futures arise from integration of the range of uncertainty in crop, climate, and economic modeling results in multi-model assessments.