Climate change, irrigation, and Israeli agriculture : will warming be harmful ?
The authors use a Ricardian model to test the relationship between annual net revenues and climate across Israeli farms. They find that it is important to include the amount of irrigation water available to each farm in order to measure the response of farms to climate. With irrigation water omitted, the model predicts that climate change is strictly beneficial. But with water included, the model predicts that only modest climate changes are beneficial, while drastic climate change in the long run will be harmful. Using the Atmospheric Oceanic Global Circulation Models scenarios, the authors show that farm net revenue is expected to increase by 16 percent in 2020, while in 2100 farm net revenue is expected to drop by 60-390 percent varying between the different scenarios. Although Israel has a relatively warm climate, a mild increase in temperature is beneficial due to the ability to supply international markets with farm products early in the season. The findings lead to the conclusion that securing water rights to the farmers and international trade agreements can be important policy measures to help farmers adapt to climate change.
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