GEOGLAM and AgMIP Collaboration

Geoglam-AgMIPBy Jenna Famular

The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) and The Group on Earth Observation Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM) recently initiated a collaboration to share methods, data, and outputs with a particular focus on the development of near-term, in-season crop projections. In March of 2015 GEOGLAM and AgMIP came together at a joint workshop, “Integrating Earth Observation with Models to Forecast Within Season Crop Production at Multiple Scales”, in Beltsville, Maryland. The workshop was organized with the purpose of examining ways to improve within-season crop production forecasts on a range of spatial scales from local sites and geographic regions, to a global scale.

GEOGLAM was launched in 2011 in Paris by the Group of 20 Agriculture Ministers with a purpose to “strengthen global agricultural monitoring by improving the use of remote sensing tools for crop production projections and weather forecasting.” GEOGLAM is a world leader in remote sensing and near-real-time monitoring of agricultural crop conditions. They provide coordinated observations of the earth from satellites and integrates these observations with land-based and site-specific measurements in order to generate accurate and up to date crop monitoring information and yield forecasts.

GEOGLAM’s expertise in satellite data applications and AgMIP’s extensive network of scientists researching and applying process-based crop models provide a unique opportunity for collaboration. GEOGLAM’s monitoring information and yield forecasts can help create likely production scenarios and engage with a wide range of stakeholders. AgMIP creates linkages between climate, crop, livestock, and economic models to further assess the implications of climate variability and change ranging from seasonal to multi-decadal timescales. Together, GEOGLAM and AgMIP have the opportunity to share their expertise and develop robust, multi-pronged crop and livestock assessments that can pair with economic models to provide insight outcomes on several time and decision scales.

The recent workshop included participants from many groups within the AgMIP organization. Cynthia Rosenzweig, head of the Climate Impacts Group at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and founder of AgMIP, attended the event along with AgMIP Science Coordinator and Climate Team co-Leader Alex Ruane, who is also a Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute. Rosenzweig co-chaired the event with Chris Justice from GEOGLAM.

For more about GEOGLAM and the work they do, please click here.

Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison Phase 1 Paper Published


By Jenna Famular

Evaluating global crop productivity is important in understanding the impacts of climate change and possible adaptation strategies. In 2012 and 2013 The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) worked with the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP) to simulate crop productivity. This project catalyzed the creation of the Ag-GRID and Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison (GGCMI) projects that focus on providing comprehensive evaluation of models via comparisons of simulations and observed data.


Agronomic Decision Making in the Face of Climate Change

By Jenna Famular

A recent article “An integrated crop model and GIS decision support system for assisting agronomic decision making under climate change” published in Science of the Total Environment applied AgMIP regional integrative assessment tools to study the spatial yield variations in groundnut yields. The study aimed to quantify spatial variability in groundnut yields under current climate scenarios and future climate scenarios affected by climate change in India. Another goal of the study was to provide strategies of cultivar, water and fertilizer application that can enhance production as well as possible strategies for reducing investment inputs in groundnut production in climate change conditions.


Laying the Groundwork for the Next Generation of Agricultural System Models


Agricultural system models provide predictive and assessment capability to a wide range of decision-makers in the private and public sectors. However, despite extensive research to improve agricultural models, many of the models used today are the result of investments made 30-40 years ago, and do not incorporate the major advances in data, information, and communication technology achieved in the past decade. Further, it is increasingly understood that model outputs do not, in and of themselves, constitute decision support systems.


Wheat Team Paper on Yields and Climate Change

By Jenna Famular


A recent paper in Nature of Climate Change, “Rising temperatures reduce global wheat production” Asseng et al., discusses the systematic testing of wheat crop models, utilized by the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), against field experiments. The testing was conducted because simulations have a large amount of uncertainty in yield projections due to changes in temperature. Results showed that crop models were accurate between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius, but above 22 degrees Celsius, the uncertainty in the model increased. Wheat appears to be less affected by average temperature and more affected by fluctuations in seasonality, illustrating that the timing of warmer and cooler weather in the growing season has a large impact on grain yield. (more…)

Researchers aim to make global climate data useful to local farmers

by Niina Heikkinen, E&E reporter

AntleSSA AgMIP Co-PI John Antle presenting to teams at the Sub-Saharan Africa Mid-Term Workshop in Pretoria, South Africa

With a global population on track to exceed 9 billion by the middle of the century and climate change altering growing conditions across the planet, the need to figure out if agricultural production will keep pace is becoming more urgent, leading agricultural economists say.
In a panel discussion held yesterday by the nonprofit organization Resources for the Future, representatives from the World Bank, the Department of Agriculture and academia said government agencies are collaborating with researchers and local officials to predict the economic risks that climate change poses to farming households around the world.
Finding a way to quantify those economic risks is a complex challenge because of the amount of information that has to go into modeling future crop yields, said Elizabeth Marshall, an economist for USDA’s Economic Research Service.

New Canola Initiative Launched

Canola3A new Canola Initiative has just been launched on the AgMIP website. Canola (rapeseed) has become a major crop for production of edible oil around the world, and plays an essential role for international food security. (more…)

Southern Africa Livestock Team Video

This video is produced for the Biosphere Defense Project, hosted by the International Institute of Climate Action and Theory (IICAT) at the University of California. It features footage of interviews with researchers from the CLIP (Crop Livestock Intensification Project) team of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project ( The video explores issues related to climate change impacts on smallholder agriculture and livestock farming in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique and the imperatives for change; highlighting opportunities to reduce risk and increase resilience in Southern Africa. (more…)

Global Economic Modeling Phase 2 Planning Meeting: JRC/IPTS, Seville, Spain, March 10-11, 2014

The AgMIP GlobEcon team met in Seville, Spain March 10-11, 2014 to discuss further plans and next steps for enhanced model intercomparisons, following the successful Phase 1 which resulted in a Special Issue in the journal Agricultural Economics ( and a joint paper in PNAS ( Participants in the workshop included the 10 global economic modeling groups who had contributed to Phase 1, but also 6 new groups who are interested in joining the process in the next phase. The workshop was primarily funded upon invitation by JRC-IPTS in Seville, which was gratefully acknowledged by the whole group as an important support of AgMIP. (more…)

Global Economics Climate Scenario Workshop: FAO, Rome, Italy, June 23-24, 2014

Five global economic modeling groups met June 23-24, 2014 at FAO headquarters in Rome to discuss preliminary results of a harmonized analysis of climate change impacts on agriculture and food security in 2050. The participating modeling groups, all members of the AgMIP Global Economics team, are from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), LEI Wageningen UR in the Netherlands, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS). The Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex is also contributing. This work is supported by funds from the US Department of Agriculture through a contract with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), and by the participating institutions and other donors. (more…)