Solmaria Halleck Vega (WUR - UEC) Abrupt shifts in national land use and food production after a climate tipping point

Organised by Section Economics

Tue 29 October 2019 12:30 to 13:30

Venue Leeuwenborch, building number 201
Room C82
Climate change is expected to generate substantial impacts on land use in general and agriculture in particular. Even steadily accumulating changes in temperature and water availability can alter the relative profitability of different farming activities, resulting in abrupt switches in land use in an area. However, there is also potential for high-impact ‘climate tipping points’ where abrupt, non-linear change in climate occurs. An important example is the potential collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) which would have a major impact on north-western Europe. Using this example and data from Great Britain, we develop and apply a novel methodology to analyse the impacts of a climate tipping point on land-use and economic outcomes for agriculture. Among key findings is widespread cessation of arable farming resulting in losses of agricultural output which are an order of magnitude larger than the impacts of climate change without an AMOC collapse.