Regional Integrated Assessments Handbook
AgMIP Regional Integrated Assessments Handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to describe recommended methods for a trans-disciplinary, systems-based approach for regional-scale (local to national scale) integrated assessment of agricultural systems under future climate, bio-physical and socio-economic conditions. An earlier version of this Handbook was developed and used by several AgMIP Regional Research Teams (RRTs) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia (SA) in Phase 1 research. (AgMIP Handbook version 5.1). This handbook has been updated to incorporate the new research methodology being followed in Phase 2 of the Regional Integrated Assessments. It is written to guide a consistent set of integrated assessments that can be applied to any region globally.

These assessments are the regional manifestation of the original AgMIP Research Activity Protocol Guidelines.. AgMIP Protocols were created to guide climate, crop modeling, economic, and information technology components of its projects.

Core Questions Chart

Overview of core climate impact questions and the production system states that will be simulated. The current production system is represented by the blue dot, while the future production of the system is represented in three ways: assuming that there is no climate change (black), assuming that there is climate change and no adaptation (red), and assuming that there is climate change and adaptation (green). The dashed line represents the evolution of the production system in response to development in the agricultural sector that is not directly motivated by climate change. To understand the sensitivity of the current production system to anticipated changes, production in the current period is also estimated using proposed adaptation strategies under present climate (pink) or responding to an instantaneous climate change (orange). (from AgMIP Handbook v6)

Various regions of the world are now undertaking regional assessments following AgMIP protocols and integrated assessment procedures. This Handbook version also has a number of modifications to the methods and to our description of methods based on what was learned from the use and evaluation of the Handbook version 5.1. However, it is important to recognize that the procedures presented here were designed for the data available to the SSA and SA teams, for implementation of two crop models per integrated assessment region (at least DSSAT and APSIM), and for use of one socio-economic model (TOA-MD) in the integrated impact assessments. Going forward, we recommend the use of multiple crop and economic models when available, based in large part to lessons learned in the various crop model intercomparisons (e.g., Asseng et al., 2013; Rosenzweig et al., 2013) and on the global economic model intercomparisions (Nelson et al., 2013). We envision that specific choices of multiple models may vary among regions, but that a core set of models should be used such that results can be aggregated and compared across all regions.

This handbook was written such that it represents a minimum approach that can be expanded upon in regions where available data and resources allow. The methods and core approach used by all interdisciplinary research teams need to be fundamentally consistent in order to enable meta-analyses and large-scale studies. Particular care must therefore be taken in introducing new methods and models that could potentially limit the ability of results to be compared beyond the immediate region.

AgMIP Regional Integrated Assessments Handbook