CGRA +1.5 and 2°C Workshop Report

Discussion group at CGRA +1.5 and 2°C Workshop Discussion group at the CGRA +1.5 and 2°C workshop.

By Meridel Phillips

The AgMIP Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments (CGRA) Rapid Assessment of Agriculture in a +1.5 °C Scenario focuses on understanding the impacts of the changes in climate required to reach a stable world only 1.5 or 2 °C above pre-industrial mean global temperatures. The approach aims to identify the different mitigation pathways that will keep global temperatures below the 1.5 degree threshold, to understand the differences between the 1.5 and 2 degree scenarios, and to present the changes that will result from these pathways in different aspects of the agriculture industry.

The project intends to directly contribute to the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 °C in 2018, as well as the Special Report on Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security, and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems. Teams consist of groups working in climate scenario analysis, global and site-based crop modeling, and global and regional economics assessments. Additionally, the group hopes to expand analysis into livestock simulations, dietary pathways, and food security metrics.

The workshop at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxemburg, Austria over the week of June 12-16, 2017 provided a space to further develop coordination efforts between groups on both technical and abstract levels. Each group contributed a summary of their specific analysis with scales, parameter inputs and outputs for different runs. They revisited the core questions behind the IPCC Special Report, namely, how to establish a future scenario that is limited to 1.5 or 2 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures, and how the agriculture industry will adapt in such a world. The approach was built on the extreme scenarios that involve either minimal or full contribution to mitigation efforts by the agricultural sector, with further scenarios in between addressing land use, climate-smart agriculture, and dietary pathways. The group delivered progress reports on coordinated scenario design runs, including “benchmark” scenarios of perfect mitigation (with no climate change), and the current period (with climate change and present technology).

One of the main goals for this workshop was to develop a core set of CGRA assessment papers, which was accomplished by outlining brief synopses of publications for each team and assigning author lists. Going forward, the hope is to expand these synopses into full abstracts, begin writing up methodologies and preliminary results, and revising protocols to reflect progress.

For a full summary, agenda, participant list and presentations see the workshop report.