Valdivia, R.O. and J.M. Antle et al. 2014. Representative Agricultural

Representative Agricultural Pathways and Scenarios: A
Trans-Disciplinary Approach to Agricultural Model Intercomparison, Improvement and Climate Impact
Roberto Valdivia1, John Antle1, Lieven Claessens2, Gerald Nelson3,
Cynthia Rosenzweig4, Alex Ruane4, and Joost Vervoort5
State University; 2International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, ICRISAT;
3Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign; 4NASA Goddard Institute for Space
Studies; 5University of Oxford/CCAFS
AAEA Meeting
Minneapolis, MN July 28, 2014
Pathways and Scenarios
The global change research community has recognized that new
pathway and scenario concepts are needed to implement
impact and vulnerability assessment
◦ Earlier version: “Special Report on Emissions Scenarios” (SRES) linked emissions
to socio-economic development narratives and assumptions
IPCC process for new “pathway” concepts
◦ RCPs: Representative Concentration Pathways -> Global climate models
◦ SSPs: Shared Socio-Economic Pathways -> impact and vulnerability assessment
However, we need pathways specific to the agricultural sector:
◦ AgMIP:
Developing and implementing Representative Agricultural
Pathways and Scenarios (RAPS) – Cross cutting theme
RCPs, SSPs and RAPs
Representative Ag Pathways
• economic & social development
• soil & water resource trends
• agricultural technology trends
• prices and costs of production
• ag, mitigation & other policy
Linking Agriculture-Specific Pathways to SSPs:
Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs)
-> Hierarchical structure (nested approach)
. SSPs: Framework for development of sectoral (e.g.
agricultural) global and regional scenarios.
Global RAPs: Global Economic Models and other
non-modeled global socio-economic conditions:
◦ GDP, population & policy and trade, etc
Regional RAPs: Allow us to include key drivers are
likely to affect future bio-physical and socioeconomic conditions:
◦ ag productivity trends, land use, policy,
regional development
◦ farm size, system-specific productivity &
management, infrastructure, etc
Developing and implementing
Representative Agricultural Pathways and
Scenarios (RAPS)
Why do we need RAPs? : The AgMIP RIA Core Research Questions:
Yield or
Yield or
Q1: What is the sensitivity of current agricultural production systems to climate change?
This question addresses the isolated impacts of climate changes assuming that the production system
does not change from its current state.
Q2: What is the impact of climate change on future agricultural production systems?
Assessment of climate impacts on the future production system, which will differ from the current
production system due to development in the agricultural sector
Q3: What are the benefits of climate change adaptations? Assessment of the benefits of
potential adaptation options in the future production system
Development of Representative Agricultural Pathways
Need a Multidisciplinary team!
• These “pathways” are combinations of bio-physical, economic,
technology and policy drivers that represent a plausible range of
possible futures.
• They are not meant to be predictions, but rather provide
researchers with a range of plausible scenarios that can be used to
simulate possible future outcomes in a consistent and transparent
RAPs narratives provide a framework in which qualitative
and quantitative information can be translated into model
RAPs Development Process
First meeting:
Start with a “Business as usual” (BAU) RAP
Team members identify key parameters that will likely
be affected by higher level pathways and draft RAP
Team members are assigned variables for research
Team members conduct research –use of templates for
reporting and supporting documentation
Templates can be distributed to experts for feedback
Second meeting:
Team members report findings and discuss storylines for
each variable
BAU RAP is finalized
Additional RAPs are identified
Process similar to BAU is carried out
Additional background research
Create Additional RAPs
RAPs distributed to
stakeholders and
outside experts
Modelers develop scenarios
Tools for RAPs development:
- DevRAP matrix and software: Construct RAPs
narratives and quantify scenarios parameters for TOAMD. Template to parameterize TOA-MD and document
model scenarios
- Reporting Templates: Help team members
document background information specific to drivers
under research
- Pathways summary trends table: Helps to
visually inform users about trends and magnitudes of
key driver changes included in RAP narratives
AgMIP Regional Teams – RAPS development
Sub-Saharan Africa
South Asia
AgMIP Regional Teams – RAPS development
• Period of analysis: Mid-century
• Higher level Pathways:
 SSP2
 No Global RAPs. Data from IMPACT model
(productivity and price trends)
 Some teams have used information from CCAFS multicountry scenarios
• Types of RAPs : Business as Usual (BAU)
 Pessimistic
 Optimistic
Example: RAPs development: CLIP: Zimbabwe
Pessimistic RAP1.1 If there is no
change of mindset and way of doing
business, food security situation will
continue to worsen
Optimistic RAP 1.2 Favorable
conditions for private and public
investments in the agricultural sector
will be created
Extractive land use
Investments in NRM, secure
Size of cultivated
Lack of labor, limited investment
Intensified production on less land
Herd size
Shift towards goats
Improved feed and management
Input prices
Lack of local manufacturing and
raw material
More players in processing
industry against higher demand
for inputs
Input use
Lack of affordability and returns
Market incentives, investment
security, appropriate support
Crop income
Low local production and
competition with cheap imports
Increased income from higher
Livestock income
Competition with cheap imports
High and unmet demand for
livestock products
Improved quality production
Crop – livestock
product imports
While national production is
declining, the demand actually
Large potential to produce vs
climatic risks (droughts, no
national reserves)
Off-farm income
Alternative income options are also
High farm productivity will keep
more people in agriculture
AgMIP Regional Research Teams RAPs Trends Table: SSA
BAU Pessimistic
AgMIP Regional Research Teams RAPs Trends Table: SA
Issues found in the process of developing RAPs:
Identification of indicators
• Need a comprehensive list of indicators with definitions
Data availability
• Finding reliable data (e.g. trends) at regional or
local level, in particular for non-modeled activities
Agreement on trends direction and magnitude
• Disciplinary bias
• “predictions” vs “plausible projections”
Interaction with Stakeholders
• Policy or personal agendas, non-scientific description of
• Productivity and price trends, production costs
Way forward
Revise current RAP narratives and corresponding model
Develop more RAPs for the same region but also cover
additional regions
Revise the RAPS development process (learning by doing!)
Link regional RAPs to Global RAPs
Methodological issues
With Global RAPS, regional RAPS developed by AgMIP RRTs
may need to be revised.
RAPS for other regions (e.g. Latin America, East Asia, etc)
Thank You!
Thanks to AgMIP Research
Teams for providing their
RAPs information
Reminder: Session 2089 A New Transdisciplinary Approach to Regional Integrated
Assessment of Climate Impact and Adaptation in Africa and South Asia
Track Session Int'l
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Hyatt Regency; Second Level
and Reporting template

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