by Philip Thornton
In order to make the necessary decisions and investments for climate adaptation in agriculture, we need information about future weather conditions. The CGIAR Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security has been improving on the MarkSimGCM stochastic weather generator tool, released last year. MarkSim GCM lets the user generate plausible weather data for future climates, using six climate models (or the ensemble average) and three greenhouse gas emission scenarios that were part of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. The tool is embedded in Google Earth and can also be used to generate daily data that are characteristic of current conditions, based on the WorldClim dataset, an interpolated surface of weather station data from around the world mostly covering the years 1960-1990.
by Jeremy Cherfas, Bioversity International.
A new climate change tool will not only help farmers to prepare for the future, it may also spur implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
Although 127 countries rushed to ratify the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, far fewer have implemented it in national law. The reasons are many, and one that comes up often is that lawmakers don’t actually understand its importance. A planning meeting for a new Bioversity project, Strengthening National Capacities to Implement the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, funded by the Dutch government, heard this over and over again from representatives of the eight countries taking part in the project. But the meeting also heard about a new tool that could help to raise awareness - the Climate Analogue Tool.
Parlez d’une seule voix sur l'agriculture! Tel est l'appel de la ministre sud-africaine de l'Agriculture Tina Joemat-Pettersson à ses pairs du continent au moment où Durban accueil la "CdP de l'Afrique". Mais cette voix unifiée devra-t-elle souligner la vulnérabilité et les impacts négatifs, ou plutôt les potentiels et les opportunités?
À ce jour le consensus scientifique suggère que l'agriculture africaine sera durement touchée par le changement climatique. Le dernier rapport du GIEC a conclu que certains pays africains pourraient voir les rendements des cultures pluviales chuter de 50% dès 2020; une étude plus récente a confirmé á un « très haut niveau de confiance » qu’au cours du 21ème siècle, la production agricole dans la majeure partie de l'Afrique sera "gravement compromise". Cependant, une lacune de la plupart des modèles et des études statistiques est - comme le reconnaissent volontiers leurs auteurs - qu'ils ne prennent pas en compte la manière dont les agriculteurs, les marchés et les gouvernements s'adaptent au changement. Read more »
by Sonja Vermeulen
Speak with one voice on agriculture! Such is the call of Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the South African Minister of Agriculture, to her peers across the continent as Durban hosts “Africa’s COP”. But should this unified voice emphasize vulnerability and negative impacts, or opportunity and potential?
The scientific consensus to date is that African agriculture will be hard hit by climate change. The last IPCC report concluded that some African countries might see yields of rainfed crops fall by 50% as soon as 2020; a more recent review has confirmed “high confidence” that agricultural production will be “severely compromised” across much of Africa during the 21st century. However, one shortcoming of most models and statistical studies is – as their authors readily acknowledge – that they do not take into account how farmers, markets and governments adapt to change. Read more »
Information about the weather is important for decision-making about risk management, particularly in dryland farming systems. While models are suitable tools for evaluating risk, they require accurate daily weather data to feed into model development. Particularly in developing countries, the availability and quality of historical weather data is often limited. MarkSimGCM is a stochastic weather generator that aims to help fill this gap. This application uses the well-known MarkSim application, a tool that generates simulated daily weather data specifically designed for use in the tropics, including rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures and solar radiation. It provides files of daily weather data that are completely compatible with the DSSAT (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer) crop modeling system. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)