Modeling the impact of global change on regional agricultural land use through an activity-based non-linear programming approach
Assessing the impact of climate change on agriculture is a new challenge for quantitative model-based policy analysis. The impact of climate change will vary strongly across regions depending on pre-existing climatic, agronomic, and political conditions. Most of the present modeling approaches, which aim to analyze the impact of global change on agriculture, deliver aggregated results both with regard to content and spatial resolution. To deliver results with a higher spatial resolution and to produce a more detailed picture of agricultural production, the county-based agro-economic model known as ACRE-Danube was developed. The German and Austrian part of the Upper Danube basin, a study area with great diversity in agricultural landscapes and climatic conditions, was chosen for study. For the analysis, two scenarios of climatic and socio-economic change were derived. The first and more economically and globally oriented scenario, termed "Full Liberalization," included significant temperature increases. The second and more environmentally and regionally oriented "Full Protection" scenario included a moderate temperature increase. Both scenarios produce different results regarding agricultural income and land use. While the developments in the Full Protection scenario are small, the Full Liberalization scenario yields extreme regional changes in agricultural income, an increase in cereal production and extensive grassland farming.
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