Crop modelling: towards locally relevant and climate-informed adaptation

Louise Beveridge, Stephen Whitfield, Andy Challinor
2018 Climatic Change  
A gap between the potential and practical realisation of adaptation exists: adaptation strategies need to be both climate-informed and locally relevant to be viable. Place-based approaches study local and contemporary dynamics of the agricultural system, whereas climate impact modelling simulates climate-crop interactions across temporal and spatial scales. Cropclimate modelling and place-based research on adaptation were strategically reviewed and analysed to identify areas of commonality,
more » ... erences, and potential learning opportunities to enhance the relevance of both disciplines through interdisciplinary approaches. Cropmodelling studies have projected a 7-15% mean yield change with adaptation compared to a non-adaptation baseline (Nature Climate Change 4:1-5, 2014). Of the 17 types of adaptation strategy identified in this study as place-based adaptations occurring within Central America, only five were represented in crop-climate modelling literature, and these were as follows: fertiliser, irrigation, change in planting date, change in cultivar and area cultivated. The breath and agency of real-life adaptation compared to its representation in modelling studies is a source of error in climate impact simulations. Conversely, adaptation research that omits assessment of future climate variability and impact does not enable to provide sustainable adaptation strategies to local communities so risk maladaptation. Integrated and participatory methods can identify and reduce these sources of uncertainty, for example, stakeholder's engagement can identify locally relevant adaptation pathways. We propose a research agenda that uses methodological approaches from both the modelling and place-based approaches to work towards climate-informed locally relevant adaptation.
doi:10.1007/s10584-018-2160-z fatcat:2t4rlgxlm5eado5vestbpxc7oi