Crop Biotech Update

Major Economic Models Point Direction on World's Agriculture, Climate Change

January 15, 2014

A new study, published in a special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences brings together nine of the world's most important economic modeling teams with a focus on agriculture to compare their results about the future of agriculture. The paper is the product of a multi-year collaboration between leading global research teams under the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) and the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP).

Findings from the analysis include the following:

  • The average direct climate change effect on crop yields is a 17 percent decline, but with significant differences by crop, region, and climate models.
  • The final average yield effect is an 11 percent decline as farmers respond by altering input use and management practices on existing agricultural area, expanding production into new areas (an increase in area globally of about 8 percent) and reduced consumption (a decline of about 3 percent).
  • The average effect on crop prices is a 20 percent increase, but for some crops in some regions prices don't change at all, while in others the increase is over 60 percent.
  • Differences in model results arise from different assumptions made by the modeling groups in three areas: How easy is it to convert nonagricultural land to cropping? How much can farmers respond to higher prices with higher yields? And how much can international trade flows respond to the different regional climate effects?
See IFPRI's news release at http://www.ifpri.org/pressrelease/major-economic-models-climate-change-and-agriculture-point-same-direction-differ-magnit.