Agriculture & Adaptation to Climate Change

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Transcript Agriculture & Adaptation to Climate Change

Agriculture & Adaptation to
Climate Change
John Reilly
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Appearance before the
Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture
and Forestry
25 March 2003, Ottawa, Canada
Climate, Weather, & Markets
 Climate change: beneficial or detrimental
 Time Scale—crop season, decade, century
 Persistent trend, variability
 Beyond the farm gate: resources, pollution,
transportation, communities
 Observed trends, predicted changes.
US Regional Production Changes, Canadian Center
Index, 0=no change
Climate
100
50
0
northea lakesta cornbel northpl appalac southea deltast southpl mountai pacific
-50
-100
2030
2030 w/adapt
2090
2090 w/adapt
Index, 0=no change
Regional Production Changes, Hadley Center Climate
150
100
50
0
northea
lakesta
cornbel
northpl
2030
appalac southea
2030 w/adapt
2090
deltast
southpl mountai
2090 w/adapt
pacific
Changes in Resource Use, Canadian and Hadley
Center Climates
Percent change
20
0
-20
Irrig. Land
Dryland
Cropland
Pasture
AUMs
-40
-60
2030 cc
2090 cc
2030 hc
2090 hc
Water
Labor
Adaptation: Cautions
 A few years may mislead with regard to the long
term trend; predictability at relevant spatial scales is
a distant goal or impossibility.
 Is an adaptive investment viable if trend persists?
irrigation may work for a while but not long if the
water source disappears.
 Economic assistance may reduce incentive to make
the difficult but necessary changes.
Adaptation
 Economics and Management


Price (profit, loss) as signals.
Risk management & market instruments.
 Information


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Monitoring/analysis of weather trends
Improved medium-run forecasting
Education re. climate change & potential responses.
 Specific Technological Responses

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Water management
Crop varieties, planting dates
Pest management