AgMIP NextGen Research Pillar Featured in Agricultural Systems Special Issue

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Summary: In July 2017, Agricultural Systems released a special issue on the Next Generation Data, Models and Knowledge Products. Focusing on the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Next Generation (NextGen) research pillar, this special issue provides insights in the current state of agricultural system models, the future visions of agricultural systems modeling, and the topics that must be addressed to turn this vision into reality. Thanks to the generous contribution of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the special issue is available for public access via open agreements and is available for download here.

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AgMIP Wheat Team Succeeds in Critical Model Improvement

AgMIP_wheat_smallThe AgMIP Wheat team at a team workshop in Suzhou, China, 9-11 May 2017.

By Senthold Asseng

The international Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) reached another milestone recently with a publication in Nature Plants. Led by Dr. Enli Wang, CSIRO, Australia, and Dr. Pierre Martre, INRA France, along with the AgMIP-Wheat team, the publication makes significant advancements in reducing wheat model uncertainty by improving temperature response functions.

The publication, entitled ‘The uncertainty of crop yield projections is reduced by improved temperature response functions’ (Nature Plants, 2017, Vol. 3), demonstrates how model intercomparison can encourage model improvement. In total, 60 wheat crop modelers, field crop experimentalists, a climate scientist and a biostatistician contribute to the AgMIP Wheat team’s research.

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Recently Released: Challenges of Global Agriculture in a Climate Change Context by 2050

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Members of AgMIP community contribute to study on potential economic impacts of Climate change on agriculture

Summary: In response to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, scientists have been challenged to develop and analyze potential pathways to curbing global warming to below 2oC. These studies provide public policy with a greater understanding of the impacts decisions may have on future productivity. “Challenges of Agriculture in a Climate Change Context by 2050” (AgCLIM50), a report published in June 2017, provides an analysis of the associated impacts of mitigation and adaptation in the agricultural sector. Key findings from the study demonstrate: the demand agricultural production is more influenced by population developments and dietary assumptions than by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) developments; mitigation efforts on emissions have a negative impact on agricultural productivity; and prices of livestock are more impacted by mitigation efforts than crops.

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Central and South America Adaptation Planning – A Workshop Summary

Climate Change Adaptation Planning in Agriculture: analyzing challenges and opportunities in Central and South America

By Daniela Medina, Roberto Valdivia, and Kelly Witkowski

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Summary: During the last week of May, 2017 two workshops were co-hosted in partnership between the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP). These workshops focused on strengthening the capacity of Latin American countries to plan, implement, and monitor policies and sectorial programs aimed to increase farming systems’ resilience to climate change. Participants identified the following priorities for the forward-looking collaboration: strengthening institutional capacities, making regular updates and improvements in adaptation plans, developing and implementing monitoring and evaluation systems, and improving decision-making tools. Workshop outcomes included a clear recognition and need for IICA and AgMIP to establish a strategic alliance to help countries incorporate modeling tools into adaptation plans. This alliance will help provide countries with strong modeling and integrative assessments of agricultural systems and the climate change impacts they will experience (AgMIP), and assistance in utilizing scientific research outputs to inform effective public policy (IICA).

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AGU 2017 Fall Meeting: Abstract Deadline

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The American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2017 Fall Meeting is currently calling for abstracts. The final submission deadline is 2 August 2017 at 23:59 EDT. The Fall Meeting will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana from 11 December 2017 to 15 December 2017.

The AgMIP community encourages scientists to submit abstracts to this conference. (more…)

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. (more…)

New Plateau for Co-Developed Farming Systems Research

Nairobi Workshop Group PhotoParticipants at the Winners Circle Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya

By Erik Mencos Contreras

Since 2011 the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) has collaborated with researchers and stakeholders around the world to investigate the impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector and understand implications for global food security. With support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), AgMIP Regional Research Teams (RRTs) in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia assessed the vulnerability of complex agricultural systems and tested adaptations to improve farmers’ livelihoods. In January 2017, AgMIP held the final workshop of the DFID funded project at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya: the AgMIP Phase 2 Winners Circle Workshop. Participants included members from all seven AgMIP RRTs, as well as AgMIP Leaders and Advisers from America, Europe, and Australia. The goal of the meeting was for the Regional Teams to present their latest results on the AgMIP Regional Integrated Assessment (RIA) methodology and receive feedback to ensure the successful completion of the project.

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CGRA +1.5 and 2°C Impacts Workshop
MacCarthy-Ashfaq AgMIP West Africa Regional Team Leader, Dr. Dilys Mac Carthy, presents results from West Africa (left), while Dr. Ashfaq Chattha of AgMIP-Pakistan responds to questions from participants (right) at the AgMIP CGRA workshop on Impacts of 1.5 and 2°C Warming on Agriculture held at IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria, June 12-14, 2017.

By Meridel Phillips

In April 2016 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agreed to provide a Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. Given the importance of agricultural sciences to these reports, AgMIP is mobilizing its global network of researchers to contribute to the information base through coordinated simulations and analyses.

This week, June 12 – 14, AgMIP is convening the second of a series of workshops on the Coordinated Global and Regional Assessment (GCRA) of the Impacts of 1.5 and 2°C Warming on Agriculture at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria. The group aims to analyze the agricultural sector outcomes with global and regional economic models under unique storylines of mitigation, land use, climate-smart management, and diet standards in the form of scenarios that are consistent with a +l.5 to 2°C world for crop and economic systems across scales.

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Oklahoma State Visitors Collaborate with AgMIP and NASA

By Phil Alderman

Prof and Students from OK visit A Ruane -rightFrom left to right: Dr. Phil Alderman, students Anna Zander, Andrew Baird, Joanna Quiah, and Dr. Alex Ruane

The Southern Great Plains of the United States are known for high climate variability, including large swings in annual precipitation and cycles of high rainfall and severe drought. This variability has a profound impact on agriculture and the rural economies that depend on it due to the risk of potentially devastating weather- and climate-related stresses. Within this temporal variability is substantial spatial variability in the severity and timing of drought. In Oklahoma in 2016, for example, annual rainfall ranged between 8 inches above and 8 inches below normal depending on location within the state. Farm- to regional-scale planning, depends on accurately quantifying the risk to agriculture caused by such variability.

To address this issue, Dr. Phillip Alderman and several of his students from Oklahoma State University are collaborating with Dr. Alexander Ruane from NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Science Coordinator on a project entitled Spatiotemporal precipication estimates for quantifying agricultural drought risk. (more…)

IGB Crop Modeler Balwinder Singh featured in CIMMYT blog
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A new story on the CIMMYT website features the research of Balwinder Singh, crop modeler on the AgMIP Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB) Regional Research Team, for the blog “Breaking Ground”. The IGB team, led by PI Nataraja Subash, has just completed interdisciplinary research in Northern India investigating climate change vulnerability and adaptations of rice-wheat cropping systems.

Since 2014, Balwinder Singh has led the CIMMYT participation in the AgMIP IGB team, providing the crop modeling for the regional integrated assessments of the effects of climate change on global and regional food production and security and analyzing adaptation and mitigation measures.

“The most rewarding aspect of my work is to see my simulation results working in farmers’ fields,” Singh said. “There’s a proverb that says: ‘When a person is full they have a thousand wishes, but a hungry person has only one.’ There is no nobler task than that of being able to feed people. Some of us are not even aware of how many people are starving every day.”

Read the full blog post on the CIMMYT website.