The future of food production amid global change

MIT Agriculture and Global Change workshop
MIT Agriculture and Global Change workshop

The future of food production amid global change

MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change workshop explores risks and opportunities for the agriculture sector.

To explore challenges and opportunities for the sector, the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change convened a one-day workshop, “Agriculture and Global Change: Driving Forces, Contributions to Global Change, and Climate Risks,” on the MIT campus on Nov. 1. Drawing about 100 in-person and online registrants from industry, government, and academia, the conference was the third of the program’s workshop series. Previous workshops have explored water and energy issues.

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Joint Program Principal Research Scientist Erwan Monier presented a region- and crop-specific assessment of the future climate risks to U.S. agriculture productivity based on a study he led that was aimed at providing agriculture sector stakeholders with the additional information they need to make more informed decisions. In a nutshell, the researchers complement the results of climate/crop model runs with projections of five useful indices of agriculture/climate interaction — dry days, plant heat stress, frost days, growing season length and start of field operations — that clarify what’s driving projected yields up or down.

“We’re building a statistical model to relate these indices to yields of different crops,” said Monier. “Our work provides an alternative way to look at the fate of agriculture under climate change that provides information that’s more relevant to farmers than existing climate/crop models.”

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Source: MIT News

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