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Avoided economic impacts of climate change on agriculture: Integrating a land surface model (CLM) with a global economic model (iPETS)

Xiaolin Ren (), Matthias Weitzel (), Brian O'Neill, Peter Lawrence, Prasanth Meiyappan, Sam Levis, Edward Balistreri () and Mike Dalton
Additional contact information
Xiaolin Ren: National Center for Atmospheric Research
Brian O'Neill: National Center for Atmospheric Research
Peter Lawrence: National Center for Atmospheric Research
Prasanth Meiyappan: University of Illinois
Sam Levis: The Climate Corporation
Mike Dalton: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

No 2015-11, Working Papers from Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business

Abstract: Agricultural systems provide food and are also an important part of the economy for many countries, but crop yields are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. We assess the global impacts of climate change on agricultural systems under two climate projections (RCP8.5 and RCP4.5) in order to quantify the difference in impacts as climate change is reduced. We also employ two different socioeconomic pathways (SSP3 and SSP5) to assess the sensitivity of results to the underlying socioeconomic conditions. The integrated Population-Economy-Technology-Science (iPETS) model, a global integrated assessment model for projecting future energy use, land use and emissions, is used in conjunction with the Community Earth System Model (CESM), and particularly its land surface component, the Community Land Model (CLM), to evaluate climate change impacts on agriculture. iPETS results are produced at the level of nine world regions for the period 2005-2100. We employ climate impacts on crop yield derived from CLM, driven by CESM simulations of the two RCPs. These yield effects are applied within iPETS, imposed on baseline and mitigation scenarios for SSP3 and SSP5 that are consistent with the RCPs. We find that the reduced level of warming in RCP4.5 (relative to RCP8.5) can have either positive or negative effects on the economy since crop yield either increases or decreases with climate change depending on assumptions about CO2 fertilization. For example, yields are 10% lower, and crop prices +17% higher, in RCP4.5 relative to RCP8.5 if CO2 fertilization is included, whereas yields are 20% higher, and crop prices 19% lower, if it is not. We also find that in the mitigation scenarios, crop prices are substantially affected by mitigation actions as well as by climate impacts. For the scenarios we evaluated, the development pathway (SSP3 vs SSP5) has a larger impact on outcomes than climate (RCP4.5 vs RCP8.5), by a factor of 3 for crop prices, 11 for total cropland use, and 21 for GDP on global average.

Keywords: Avoided impacts; climate change; crop yields; CO2 fertilization; integrated assessment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 44 pages
Date: 2015-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-env
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Journal Article: Avoided economic impacts of climate change on agriculture: integrating a land surface model (CLM) with a global economic model (iPETS) (2018) Downloads
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