MACSUR science pick of the month: Climate change impacts on farm production, landscape appearance, and the environment: Policy scenario results from an integrated field-farm-landscape model in Austria
Schönhart M., Schauppenlehner T., Kuttner M., Kirchner M., Schmid E. 2016. Climate change impacts on farm production, landscape appearance, and the environment: Policy scenario results from an integrated field-farm-landscape model in Austria. Agricultural Systems 145, 39-50. doi: 10.1016/j.agsy.2016.02.008
Climate change is among the major drivers of agricultural land use change and demands autonomous farm adaptation as well as public mitigation and adaptation policies. The authors used an integrated land use model (ILM) mainly combining a bio-physical model and a bio-economic farm model at field, farm and landscape levels to study adaptation and mitigation options in an Austrian landscape. They analyzed impacts of climate change and mitigation and adaptation policies on farm production as well as on the abiotic environment and biotic environment. Changes in total farm gross margins, i.e. a measure for economic performance, from three climate change scenarios for 2040 range between + 1% and + 5%. This is the case with autonomous adaptation by farmers but no policy intervention and compared to a reference situation under the current climate. Changes in aggregated gross margins are even higher if adaptation policies are in place. However, increasing productivity from climate change leads to deteriorating environmental conditions such as declining plant species richness and landscape appearance. It has to be balanced by mitigation and adaptation policies that take spatial heterogeneity into account because the ILM revealed considerable differences in climate change impacts and policy effects among farms.
The Knowledge Hub FACCE MACSUR brings together the excellence of research in modelling grasslands, livestock, crops, farms, and agricultural trade in order to improve the modelling of climate change impacts on European agriculture and in order to illustrate to political decision makers how climate will affect regional farming systems and food production in Europe. To achieve this goal, MACSUR engages in a range of activities, including methodological comparisons of models and use of their outputs (scaling, uncertainty), linking of complementary models from different sectors, involvement of stakeholders, training of young scientists, and establishing a community of practice across a broad range of scientific disciplines. The five-year project started in June 2012.
FACCE MACSUR is organized as a Knowledge Hub, a new financial and organizational instrument. The novelty of MACSUR lies in the in-kind contributions of 2 million euros which, in addition to the 6 million euros of new money, contribute to facilitating the convergence of already funded and ongoing research, as well as funding new research [financial figures refer to the period 1 June 2012 - 31 May 2015 and were established on preliminary accounting data]. The project includes currently 70 institutions from 18 countries. Activities are funded by national agencies, with the amount of funds and the regulation of their use governed at the national level.
|Collaboration across countries and disciplines||Advancing modelling for risk assessment of climate change impacts||Outlook and remaining challenges||Interaction with stakeholders: bridging the gap|
|Video summary of the Bilbao Colloquium|
- Creating a forum for knowledge exchange across science disciplines.
- Adoption of good-practice examples from other scientific communities.
- Structured description of models and comparisons of model performance.
- Selection of regional case studies as showcases of integrated and inter-disciplinary modelling work.
- Training of young scientists.
- Development of European Representative Agricultural Pathways as input to global scenario exercises.
- Development of a data classification and rating tool for exploration of existing data sets.
- Advancement of knowledge in modelling of crop production, grassland production, price development.
- Collaboration on new funded projects.
- More than hundred papers on methodological aspects of modelling food security published in peer-reviewed journals.
- Overview papers in high-profile journals.
- Major international scientific conferences and workshops.
Regional case studies
The purpose of regional case studies is a simultaneous and interlinked development of a common conceptual framework and actual models and model links to assist policy makers and actors in the agri-food chain in identifying effective and efficient adaptation and mitigation measures and potential consequence scenarios, e.g. impact on food yield, quality, nutritive value, disease load etc. in perceived hotspots of climate impacts. The studies are geared to ansower the question "what would be the different contributions of different European adaptation strategies to global food security until 2050 at different scales (farm to EU) while keeping the GHG targets?"
Three case studies in Northern Savo (Finland), Mostviertel (Austria), and Oristano (Sardinia, Italy) have been selected as showcase pilot studies to represent the farming systems in northern, central and southern Europe. The case studies expand existing case studies. For compatibility with international research networks AgMIP and ISIMIP the Regional Pilot Studies will apply the new Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (especially SSP2 "continuation" but also SSP3 "fragmentation") in conjunction with the Representative CO2 Concentration Pathway of 8.5 W/m2 (most similar to the SRES A2 emission scenario of the IPCC reports).
FACCE MACSUR integrated Regional Pilot Studies, Workshop results