How are climate impact models changing agricultural research?

climate modelIs climate-crop modelling opening the way for more ‘non-expert’ contributions? A journal article in Climatic Change discusses the impact of climate impact models on policies and programmes.

Climate change adaptation is increasingly targeted within policies, programmes and interventions across a whole range of sectors. One result is that climate impact models, which offer a particular evidence base, are playing an increasingly important role in the design and justification of such interventions.

Particularly within international agricultural research, there is growing interest and investment in climate-crop models, driven by the assumption that as models become more sophisticated, they will produce more accurate and reliable forecasts of change and lead to better interventions.

This paper challenges that assumption by demonstrating the ways in the growing climate-crop modelling endeavour is not simply filling knowledge gaps, but is changing the nature of what we know about the future and creating more space for contributions from outside of the modelling community; from ‘non-experts’. The challenges of achieving a more inclusive process of generating climate-crop projections are discussed and the paper points to some potential ways forward.

(Image: Community Climate System Model by pnnl on Flickr)