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Agriculture and climate change in global scenarios: why don't the models agree

Author

Listed:
  • Gerald C. Nelson
  • Dominique Mensbrugghe
  • Helal Ahammad
  • Elodie Blanc
  • Katherine Calvin
  • Tomoko Hasegawa
  • Petr Havlik
  • Edwina Heyhoe
  • Page Kyle
  • Hermann Lotze-Campen
  • Martin Lampe
  • Daniel Mason d'Croz
  • Hans Meijl
  • Christoph Müller
  • John Reilly
  • Richard Robertson
  • Ronald D. Sands
  • Christoph Schmitz
  • Andrzej Tabeau
  • Kiyoshi Takahashi
  • Hugo Valin
  • Dirk Willenbockel

Abstract

Agriculture is unique among economic sectors in the nature of impacts from climate change. The production activity that transforms inputs into agricultural outputs involves direct use of weather inputs (temperature, solar radiation available to the plant, and precipitation). Previous studies of the impacts of climate change on agriculture have reported substantial differences in outcomes such as prices, production, and trade arising from differences in model inputs and model specification. This article presents climate change results and underlying determinants from a model comparison exercise with 10 of the leading global economic models that include significant representation of agriculture. By harmonizing key drivers that include climate change effects, differences in model outcomes were reduced. The particular choice of climate change drivers for this comparison activity results in large and negative productivity effects. All models respond with higher prices. Producer behavior differs by model with some emphasizing area response and others yield response. Demand response is least important. The differences reflect both differences in model specification and perspectives on the future. The results from this study highlight the need to more fully compare the deep model parameters, to generate a call for a combination of econometric and validation studies to narrow the degree of uncertainty and variability in these parameters and to move to Monte Carlo type simulations to better map the contours of economic uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerald C. Nelson & Dominique Mensbrugghe & Helal Ahammad & Elodie Blanc & Katherine Calvin & Tomoko Hasegawa & Petr Havlik & Edwina Heyhoe & Page Kyle & Hermann Lotze-Campen & Martin Lampe & Daniel Ma, 2014. "Agriculture and climate change in global scenarios: why don't the models agree," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(1), pages 85-101, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:45:y:2014:i:1:p:85-101
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/agec.12091
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hertel, Thomas W., 2010. "The Global Supply and Demand for Agricultural Land in 2050: A Perfect Storm in the Making?," Working papers 283481, Purdue University, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Global Trade Analysis Project.
    2. Nelson, Gerald C. & Rosegrant, Mark W. & Koo, Jawoo & Robertson, Richard & Sulser, Timothy & Zhu, Tingju & Ringler, Claudia & Msangi, Siwa & Palazzo, Amanda & Batka, Miroslav & Magalhaes, Marilia & Va, 2009. "Climate change: Impact on agriculture and costs of adaptation," Food policy reports 21, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Tobey, James A. & Reilly, John M. & Kane, Sally, 1992. "Economic Implications Of Global Climate Change For World Agriculture," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-10, July.
    4. Christoph Müller & Richard D. Robertson, 2014. "Projecting future crop productivity for global economic modeling," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(1), pages 37-50, January.
    5. Hertel, Thomas W., 2010. "The Global Supply and Demand for Agricultural Land in 2050: A Perfect Storm in the Making?," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 92639, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Christoph Schmitz & Hans van Meijl & Page Kyle & Gerald C. Nelson & Shinichiro Fujimori & Angelo Gurgel & Petr Havlik & Edwina Heyhoe & Daniel Mason d'Croz & Alexander Popp & Ron Sands & Andrzej Tabea, 2014. "Land-use change trajectories up to 2050: insights from a global agro-economic model comparison," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(1), pages 69-84, January.
    7. Hertel, Thomas, 2010. "The Global Supply and Demand for Agricultural Land in 2050: A Perfect Storm in the Making? AAEA Presidential Address," GTAP Working Papers 3428, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
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    10. Sherman Robinson & Hans Meijl & Dirk Willenbockel & Hugo Valin & Shinichiro Fujimori & Toshihiko Masui & Ron Sands & Marshall Wise & Katherine Calvin & Petr Havlik & Daniel Mason d'Croz & Andrzej Tabe, 2014. "Comparing supply-side specifications in models of global agriculture and the food system," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(1), pages 21-35, January.
    11. Martin Lampe & Dirk Willenbockel & Helal Ahammad & Elodie Blanc & Yongxia Cai & Katherine Calvin & Shinichiro Fujimori & Tomoko Hasegawa & Petr Havlik & Edwina Heyhoe & Page Kyle & Hermann Lotze-Campe, 2014. "Why do global long-term scenarios for agriculture differ? An overview of the AgMIP Global Economic Model Intercomparison," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(1), pages 3-20, January.
    12. Hugo Valin & Ronald D. Sands & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe & Gerald C. Nelson & Helal Ahammad & Elodie Blanc & Benjamin Bodirsky & Shinichiro Fujimori & Tomoko Hasegawa & Petr Havlik & Edwina Heyhoe, 2014. "The future of food demand: understanding differences in global economic models," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(1), pages 51-67, January.
    13. Thomas W. Hertel, 2011. "The Global Supply and Demand for Agricultural Land in 2050: A Perfect Storm in the Making?-super- 1," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 259-275.
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