Heat stress could be a problem for livestock living outdoors under climate change

By Ricky Robertson It began with an innocent enquiry: do we have relative humidity data, under climate change for possible future situations, that could be used to think about a direct effect on animal productivity? Currently, in our economic modeling, the cattle, hogs, chickens, etc., are only indirectly affected by changes in feed/fodder prices when those are affected by climate change. But, we are not capturing any direct effect from hot animals. We would like to end up with global maps of some index that can tell us something about the stress that animals would experience under typical conditions at each place on the map. The problem, of course, is that the climate data we normally use for crop modeling do not include relative humidity. That is not quite right: some of the raw data do, but not in the data we have cleaned up and arranged for using in the crop models. In order to try to keep things internally consistent, we would like to build up a rough approximation based on what we do have.

Heat Dome to Do Approximately $2 Billion in Damage to U.S. Corn

By Timothy S. Thomas Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C. tim.thomas@cgiar.org It's so hot, even the corn is sweating!1   Can temperatures this high be good for corn? It turns out that the answer is "no". I know this because last week I completed a study of the effects of temperature on U.S. corn. My goal was not only to be able to estimate the effects of climate change on corn yields in the future, but also to understand the best way to apply temperature data to the analysis.  One of the things I did was to follow the lead of other researchers and convert daily maximum and minimum temperatures to essentially hourly temperatures to be able to see the effect of an hour at each 1-degree interval on yields.

Do Economic Predictions of Damage from Climate Change Cause Policymakers to Focus on the Wrong Thing?

By Timothy S. Thomas I have been computing various measures of the impact of climate change on agriculture for the last six years, in an effort to help donors, researchers, and policymakers anticipate what farmers would face and, as a result, be able to develop plans to help agriculture adapt to climate change. But I recently came to the realization that the measures I have been computing -- while important for many reasons -- actually lead the policymaker to potentially wrong conclusions about what policies and investment strategies to use in order to help farmers adapt. The trouble is that the kind of calculations I have been doing are similar to the calculations others throughout the world have been doing, so it is not simply a matter of me being wrong, but a matter of all of us thinking about the issue incorrectly. Read more at the IFPRI Research Blog.

POLICY SEMINAR – Climate Change & Food Security: Challenges and Options at Global and National Scales

As scientists, advocates, researchers, and political leaders prepared to head to Paris for Conference of Parties (COP21), a panel of experts laid out some of the most urgent aspects of climate change and agriculture. Join IFPRI as new results on the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security from the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT) are presented, along with a modeling framework and results designed to assist national decision- and policy-makers address climate change and mitigation goals in a politically and economically sustainable way. Following presentations by senior IFPRI researchers Alex de Pinto and Keith Wiebe, a panel of experts shared their views and recommendations.

IFPRI BLOG: Why paying attention to gender matters for climate change adaptation

By Elizabeth Bryan, Patti Kristjanson, and Claudia Ringler Until recently, there has been little evidence supporting the need to focus on the gendered dimensions of agriculture and climate change. Why? Because few researchers have been talking to women in agriculture as well as men--both of whom contribute to solving the food security challenges posed by climate change. Read more at IFPRI.org.    

CCAFS Info Note: Climate readiness indicators for agriculture

By Eva Wollenberg, Monika Zurek and Alex De Pinto Coping with climate change in agriculture while ensuring food security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions or emission intensities will require new information, technologies, finance instruments and possibly new institutions. Many countries are building these capabilities now, but there is much uncertainty about what is needed and what is feasible. Click here to go to the info note.

Building the Case for Climate Change-Resilient Agriculture in the Philippines

By Ioannis Vasileiou They say policies and politics are much about timing. Many would argue that development is a political process itself. Thus, when travelling to the Philippines earlier this fall to participate in a Policy Forum, just a few weeks before the world is supposed to achieve a universal agreement on climate, and while the region is experiencing the effects of what is widely considered one of the worst El Niño phenomenons in years, a rigorous dialogue was expected -- one focusing on the intersection between climate change and agriculture. And that’s what happened.

Key Policy Ideas to Help Philippine Agriculture to Prosper Under Climate Change

By Timothy S. Thomas and Mark W. Rosegrant Before a new passenger jet is built, a much smaller model of the jet is built and then tested in a wind tunnel.  The wind tunnel shoots very fast moving air past the model, revealing important information about airflow over the wing and structural stability of the aircraft under various conditions. Testing a model in this way helps engineers catch any unanticipated problems their design might have, and then make corrections before large amounts of money are invested to construct the actual jet and make it ready for flight.

Low Emission Development Strategies for Agriculture and Other Land Uses: The Case of Colombia.

By Alex De Pinto, Senior Research Fellow It is widely recognized that natural resource use in many developing countries, from crop production to deforestation, is responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions. We also know that, in many countries, the agricultural and forestry sectors can provide low-cost climate change mitigation opportunities. As countries experience economic growth and choose among the available development pathways, they are in a favorable position to adopt natural resource use technologies and production practices characterized by low GHG emissions. Rather than embedding high emissions practices in their development and intervene on emissions reduction at a later stage, they can utilize Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS). (New IFPRI report) The U.S. Government launched an initiative, the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS), to support developing countries’ in their efforts to pursue long-term and transformative development. The initiative supports sustainable and climate-resilient economic growth compatibly with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (USAID, 2011). Under the EC-LEDS initiative, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has conducted an analysis of Colombia’s GHG emissions deriving from land use change and crop production for the period 2008 - 2030. One of the greatest challenges facing policymakers is the design of solutions to multi-dimensional problems and devising LEDS is an example of multi-objective policy making: increasing agricultural productivity and food security in a changing climatic environment while reducing GHG emissions. The purpose of our work is to help policymakers in their evaluation of trade-offs, opportunities, and repercussions of policies that that target GHG emissions reduction.

New climate change report shows innovative tool to measure value of climate services for farmers

By Arame Tall

Climate information can be a powerful tool in helping rural communities adapt to climate risk. But not all information is created equal, nor is access to information equal. To better understand the value of climate information in these communities, researchers started out by asking: does climate information matter to women farmers? The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in conjunction with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and CGIAR Centers, has been engaging in projects to deliver climate services to smallholder farmers across Africa and South Asia.

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