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CR 76:17-39 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01520

Biophysical and economic implications for agriculture of +1.5° and +2.0°C global warming using AgMIP Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments

Alex C. Ruane1,*, John Antle2, Joshua Elliott3, Christian Folberth4, Gerrit Hoogenboom5, Daniel Mason-D’Croz6,7, Christoph Müller8, Cheryl Porter5, Meridel M. Phillips9,1, Rubi M. Raymundo5, Ronald Sands10, Roberto O. Valdivia2, Jeffrey W. White11, Keith Wiebe6, Cynthia Rosenzweig1

1NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY 10025, USA
2Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
3University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
4International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 2361 Laxenburg, Austria
5University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
6International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC 20005, USA
7Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, St Lucia, QLD 4067, Australia
8Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
9Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research, New York, NY 10025, USA
10USDA Economic Research Service, Washington, DC 20036, USA
11USDA Agricultural Research Service, Maricopa, AZ 85239, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: This study presents results of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments (CGRA) of +1.5° and +2.0°C global warming above pre-industrial conditions. This first CGRA application provides multi-discipline, multi-scale, and multi-model perspectives to elucidate major challenges for the agricultural sector caused by direct biophysical impacts of climate changes as well as ramifications of associated mitigation strategies. Agriculture in both target climate stabilizations is characterized by differential impacts across regions and farming systems, with tropical maize Zea mays experiencing the largest losses, while soy Glycine max mostly benefits. The result is upward pressure on prices and area expansion for maize and wheat Triticum aestivum, while soy prices and area decline (results for rice Oryza sativa are mixed). An example global mitigation strategy encouraging bioenergy expansion is more disruptive to land use and crop prices than the climate change impacts alone, even in the +2.0°C scenario which has a larger climate signal and lower mitigation requirement than the +1.5°C scenario. Coordinated assessments reveal that direct biophysical and economic impacts can be substantially larger for regional farming systems than global production changes. Regional farmers can buffer negative effects or take advantage of new opportunities via mitigation incentives and farm management technologies. Primary uncertainties in the CGRA framework include the extent of CO2 benefits for diverse agricultural systems in crop models, as simulations without CO2 benefits show widespread production losses that raise prices and expand agricultural area.


KEY WORDS: Climate change · Agricultural system · Food prices · Mitigation · CO2 · Crop model · Climate stabilization · Climate impact


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Cite this article as: Ruane AC, Antle J, Elliott J, Folberth C and others (2018) Biophysical and economic implications for agriculture of +1.5° and +2.0°C global warming using AgMIP Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments. Clim Res 76:17-39. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01520

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