Food for the future -- Assessments of impacts of climate change on agriculture

March 10, 2015

Our food production system, already stressed to meet today's demands, will face even more challenges in the future to provide for a growing population and adapt to a changing climate.

Farmers need to know if their current agricultural systems will continue to produce the yields of today, and what adaptations could be beneficial. Government policy-makers need to understand if food prices and availability will be impacted, and if so by how much and where. International organizations need to identify which regions will be the most vulnerable to the coming changes and thus likely to face food insecurity.

A new two-part volume just published by Imperial College Press, Handbook of Climate Change and Agroecosystems: The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Integrated Crop and Economic Assessments edited by Cynthia Rosenzweig and Daniel Hillel, features the work of over 200 scientists using the latest data, models, and technologies to forecast answers to these pressing questions.

The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is a global community of scientists that quantifies climate change impacts on food security. It has developed standard methods of research combining climate, crop and economic models used by research teams in regions around the globe to simulate the vulnerabilities of and adaptive strategies for their local agricultural systems. These assessments provide information about future crop yields and economic conditions, such as income and poverty rates, which can help agricultural decision-makers plan for the future.

"AgMIP is dedicated to building the capacity of researchers and their institutions to project how climate change will affect agricultural productivity and farmer livelihoods around the world," stated Cynthia Rosenzweig co-editor. "The Handbook provides new methods of regional integrated assessment that can be used to project climate change impacts in both developed and developing countries."

"The two-part handbook brings in experiences from around the globe but with context and regional specific agricultural pathways aimed at improving resilience and risk reduction in smallholder farming systems in the face of climate change. The integrated approach embraces participation of different stakeholders enabling adoption strategies to be locally developed and have high probability of adoption." stated Patricia Masikati, lead author of the chapter on crop-livestock intensification in Southern Africa.

"The book not only summarizes the most recent data and information on future climate effects on agriculture but also provides in-depth synthesis of stakeholder concerns emerging from highly focused discussions by top agricultural scientists, modelers and policy experts at various national and international forums," commented Job Kihara, lead author of the Sub-Saharan Africa overview chapter. "With the momentum being gained on climate smart agriculture generally in Sub-Saharan Africa, this book is timely."
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The book retails for US$395 / £261 (hardcover) at major bookstores. More information on the book can be found at http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/p970.

World Scientific

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