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AgMIP Workshop on Coordinated Global and Regional Integrated Assessments of Climate Change and Food Security

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Session Description: 

This meeting convenes disciplinary and regional experts to finalize protocols for a coordinated regional and global assessment of climate change impacts on the agricultural sector. The assessment would cover major regions in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, East Asia, South Asia, and Australia, enabling characterization of impacts on large-scale and smalholder farming systems. Methods of aggregation including the use of gridded agricultural models to scale up to global commodity markets will be advanced. Global economic results will enable quantification of economic drivers that in turn provide feedback on regional agricultural management and adaptation policies.

The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) has been working since 2010 to construct a protocol-based framework enabling regional assessments (led by regional experts and modelers) to provide consistent inputs to global economic and integrated assessment models. AgMIP’s community of 650+ climate, crop, livestock, economics, and IT experts has improved the state-of-the-art through model intercomparisons, validation exercises, regional integrated assessments, and the launch of AgMIP programs on all six arable continents (where regional leaders for the proposed assessment have been identified). Workshop participants will build protocols for a unifying assessment utilizing historical observations, climate projections and RCPs/SSPs from CMIP5 (and potentially CMIP6), and stakeholder-driven adaptation scenarios to provide cutting-edge assessments of climate change’s impact on food security and agricultural development. These protocols will build on the foundation of established protocols from AgMIP’s 30+ activities, and will emphasize the use of multiple models, scenarios, and scales to enable an accurate assessment of related uncertainties.

Relevance: Food security is one of the most prominent areas of scientific inquiry and popular concern related to climate change’s potential to disrupt society. IPCC Assessment Reports have been hampered due to inconsistencies in methodology, assumptions, models, scales, regional coverage, and transparency in agricultural impact studies. The proposed workshop would dramatically improve the consistency of agricultural impacts for IPCC AR6 and have direct implications for international climate policy, regional adaptation and mitigation planning, and development aid. Outputs from the proposed assessment would also feed into IAMs, nitrogen and carbon cycle models, and additional impact-sector assessments (e.g., water resources, land-use, biomes, urban areas). A coordinated regional and global assessment for agriculture would provide a template to be followed by other impact sectors.