AgMIP6 Global Workshop Summary

The sixth of AgMIP Global Workshops was held in Montpellier, France, June 28-30, 2016 where 220 participants from 39 countries and five continents attended. Read more for a summary, presentations, and abstracts from the successful workshop.
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Food Shock Research – Sessions at AgMIP6

By James Oliver

Shrouded within the discussion on climate change are the comparably impactful, shorter time-scale extreme events that can “shock” a part of the world in a matter of months or even weeks. While the gradual transformation of climate can have a major effect on the agricultural blueprint of a region, individual severe events can pose just as serious of a threat to regional and global food security in the form of food shocks. Researchers are investigating if the projected increase in climate change generated droughts, floods, heat waves, and other intense short-term occurrences, will result in increased shocks that could jeopardize food security worldwide. This topic will be included in sessions at the upcoming 6th Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Global Workshop in Montpellier, France.

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First Convening of CGRA

By James Oliver & Erik Mencos Contreras

The combination of a warming Earth and an increasing population is expected to strain the world’s food systems in the coming decades. Food security, defined as the availability and adequate access at all times to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life, now and going forward, is at risk in many places in the world. To respond to these challenges, the Aspen Global Change Institute (AGCI) convened the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Workshop on Coordinated Global and Regional Integrated Assessments (CGRA) of Climate Change and Food Security on September 13-18, 2015.

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Regional Research Teams meet in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

A cool bright June morning greeted the researchers arriving at the A’Zambezi Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe late last month as they joined over 80 participants from 24 countries in attending the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Regional Fundamentals Workshop. Inside the large meeting hall filling up with participants, Cynthia Rosenzweig and John Antle (AgMIP Co-PIs) were ready to kick-off Phase 2 of the AgMIP regional research projects.

Since 2012 AgMIP Regional Research Teams from institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia along with AgMIP leaders have been co-developing protocols for integrated assessments of the impacts of variable and changing climate on regional food security. The resulting Regional Integrated Assessment Protocols link climate, crop, livestock and economic models for mid-century projections of agricultural productivity, income and poverty rates. The assessment process includes interactions with regional Stakeholders who provide guidance on planning or policy actions and adaptations to test in future model runs. Findings are shared with stakeholders from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, who help to further define and refine key messages based on the scientific results. (See Phase 1 Summary Report here.)

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Food for the Future

New 2-Part Agricultural Model Intercomparision and Improvement Project Handbook Released

Our food production system, already stressed to meet today’s demands, will face even more challenges in the future to provide for a growing population and adapt to a changing climate. Farmers need to know if their current agricultural systems will continue to produce the yields of today, and what adaptations could be beneficial. Government policy-makers need to understand if food prices and availability will be impacted, and if so by how much and where. International organizations need to identify which regions will be the most vulnerable to the coming changes and thus likely to face food insecurity.

A new two-part volume just published by Imperial College Press, “Handbook of Climate Change and Agroecosystems: The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Integrated Crop and Economic Assessments” edited by Cynthia Rosenzweig and Daniel Hillel, features the work of over 200 scientists using the latest data, models, and technologies to forecast answers to these pressing questions. (more…)

Agriculture under threat

By Andrea Calderon Irazoque

The agricultural sector today is facing the daunting challenges of adapting to increasing impacts from climate change while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting ever-growing food demand. Crop-producing regions will be required to respond to these issues in the coming decades and their ability to do so will potentially affect all of humanity – even those living in highly urbanized areas. To put things into perspective, according to the United Nations, food demand is predicted to double by 2030.

In response to these concerns Nature Climate Change recently published a web focus collection “A new climate for farming”. The collection includes sixteen recent publications by AgMIP and other authors, including research articles, letters and opinion pieces addressing three essential topics: climate change impacts on agriculture, the influence of agriculture on the climate and our capacity to adapt to these challenges. Highlights of the contributions are succinctly summarized below. (more…)

Regional Research Teams meet in Arusha, Tanzania

AgMIP researchers and stakeholders consider big questions about climate change impacts on agriculture

In late January of this year a much-anticipated workshop was held in Arusha, Tanzania. More than 150 researchers and stakeholders from 26 countries and 90 institutions across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia filled a large conference room at the Mount Meru Hotel. The attendees – members of regional agricultural research teams, representatives of their stakeholder groups, and experts in climate, crop, economic, and integrated modeling methodologies – gathered to share results from over two years of collaborative work.

The teams are undertaking rigorous examinations of the big questions agricultural researchers and stakeholders must answer together to better understand and adapt for the variable and changing climate in the coming decades. What is the sensitivity of current agricultural production systems to climate change? What is the impact of climate change on future agricultural production systems? What are the benefits of climate change adaptations? The answers to these questions will guide policy decisions concerning the future of agriculture, assess agriculture’s vulnerability to climate change, and determine how regional food security will be impacted. (more…)

AgMIP Global Economic Research Published in Agricultural Economics

By Nicholas Hudson

As global climate continues to change, the question of the potential economic consequences of this change on the world’s food supply is one that scientists have been endeavoring to answer. Previous research has produced wide variations in results concerning the future of prices, production, and trade. The Agricultural Model and Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) in association with the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP) is leading a global economic model intercomparison, which harmonized the input datasets for 10 global agro-economic models to better evaluate the model results. Each of the economic models ran simulations with standardized initial conditions for multiple scenarios, as outlined in von Lampe, et al. (2014). Through harmonizing the model inputs, this effort hoped to shed light on the different behaviors and more subtle aspects of heterogeneity between the 10 global economic models with the goal of leading to meaningful analysis and inter comparison. (more…)

Hats Off to the 4th Annual AgMIP Global Workshop!

Agenda, Participant List, Presentations, Work Group Reports, Poster PDFs, Poster Abstracts Workshop Report

As the fine autumn weather continued in late October in New York City, the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) convened its annual Global Workshop – the fourth such event since the US Department of Agriculture founded AgMIP in 2010. Members of the AgMIP community convened at Columbia University’s Faculty House where Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, AgMIP Steering Group Co-Chairs Mannava Sivakumar and Martin Parry, and AgMIP Principal Investigators Cynthia Rosenzweig, James Jones, Jerry Hatfield, and John Antle kicked off the 3-day workshop. (more…)

Agricultural Stakeholders Contribute to AgMIP Research

Throughout the world, communities dependent on agricultural systems are vulnerable to food insecurity. Each agricultural system is associated with a unique set of environmental and economic conditions and changes in those conditions could affect the future stability of crops and livestock. AgMIP regional research teams in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are engaging policymakers, agricultural ministers, extension agents, and farmers – those who best understand the regional conditions – in order to better understand together how changing climate and other factors may affect agricultural systems and food security. AgMIP researchers in Latin America and East Asia are in the process of establishing similar studies in their regions. (more…)