Climate change increases food prices

Gepubliceerd op
19 december 2013

LEI co-author article in top climate change journal PNAS

While models differ in the degree of change, there is general agreement in the direction of impacts of climate change, including decreased productivity, increased prices and cropland area and small declines in consumption. Prices show the largest change, an average increase of 20 percent (in a world with no climate change), which is a potential area of concern for the world’s poor populations.

The article ‘Climate Change Effects on Agriculture: Economic Responses to Biophysical Shocks’ has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS, Impact factor 9.7). The study provides a unique perspective on the effects of climate change on agriculture, viewing it through the lens of nine global economic models with climate change inputs from two general circulation models and five crop models. The MAGNET model of LEI is one of the nine global economic models selected for this analyses next to models of international organizations such as FAO, World Bank, IFPRI and IIASA.

The range of outcomes is closely linked to three types of perspectives on  the future embodied in model assumptions – how easy is it to convert non-agricultural land to crop production, how does the demand for quantity and quality of food evolve, and the development of technological change.

One of the goals of the study was to compare model results to help researchers understand why the models differ. The study suggests variations in the models reflect differences both in structure and parameters with key differences in perspectives on land use conversion, demand parameters, technological change and integration of international markets.

The paper is the product of a multi-year collaboration between leading global research teams under the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) and the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP).