A global initiative, the Agricultural Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), will on November 29 convene a workshop at Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC) to discuss climate products as well as crop and agricultural trade model.
Dr Thembeka Mpuisang of Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) said: “AgMIP’s major objectives include multiple models, scenarios, locations, crops and participants to explore uncertainty and impact of data and methodological choices; collaboration of regional experts in agronomy, economics, and climate to build strong basis for applied simulations addressing key climate-related questions; improve scientific and adaptive capacity for major agricultural regions in the developing and developed world as well as develop framework to identify and prioritize adaptation strategies.”
She said it involves a mix of teams of experts at global and regional levels such as globale economics, crop modeling team, climate team, Information Technology (IT) team, Stakeholder Unit and Regional assessments teams. She then introduced the Southern Africa Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (SAAMIIP) which she said is one of the eight regional assessment teams. Its implementing countries include South Africa and Botswana.
According to a largest standardised model whose findings were published online on June 9, 2013, researchers found that “individual crop models are able to simulate measured wheat grain yields accurately under a range of environments, particularly if the input information is sufficient. However, simulated climate change impacts vary across models owing to differences in model structures and parameter values. “
It further indicates that greater proportion of the uncertainty in climate change impact projections was due to variations among crop models than to variations among downscaled general circulation models. Uncertainties in simulated impacts increased with CO2 concentrations and associated warming. These impact uncertainties can be reduced by improving temperature and CO2 relationships in models and better quantified through use of multi-model ensembles. Less uncertainty in describing how climate change may affect agricultural productivity will aid adaptation strategy development and policy making.
BUAN indicates that the SAAMIIP’s team in partnership with the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Cape Town, Agriculture Research Council and University of Free State’s stakeholder workshop with the purpose to: “ Share the overall lessons from SAAMIIP in terms of methodology, outputs and key messages; share about the Impact Explorer as a visual platform for synchronization and sharing of outputs, and increase access for Climate Change information across the regions; solicit feedback on the value add of AgMIP results and how to can be used and disseminated as well as to explore possible future collaboration and priority areas. “
AgMIP was founded with an effort to link the climate, crop, and economic modeling communities with cutting-edge information technology to produce improved crop and economic models and the next generation of climate impact projections for the agricultural sector.
A major AgMIP initiative will involve coordinating and facilitating inter-comparison of both regional and global agricultural market models being used for climate change impact and adaptation research. The AgMIP Leadership Team will work with major regional and global agricultural economic modeling teams to implement a suite of model runs utilizing the AgMIP crop model simulations and RAPs. Regional models will be inter-compared for a selected set of regions where high-resolution biophysical and economic data are available. For these regions, it will be possible to compare alternative methods for coupling biophysical and economic models, and it will also be possible to then cross-validate global models with regional models in those regions.