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Agricultural modeling at site, regional, and global scales to characterize climate change impacts and examine mitigation and adaptation options

Project Description

Researchers in the Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland (UMD), in collaboration with researchers at Texas AgriLife Research, Texas A&M University (TAMU) employ the terrestrial ecosystem model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) to characterize possible impacts of climate change on crop yields and ecosystem services at site, regional, and global scales. As members of an international agricultural modeling effort called AgMIP (Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project), modelers C?sar Izaurralde, Curtis Jones, and Ashwan Reddy utilize experimental data and geodatabases to simulate how climate change, expressed through anticipated changes in precipitation, temperature, and carbon dioxide concentrations, may affect crop performance and environmental processes (e.g. water cycle, carbon storage, greenhouse gas emissions) at site, regional and global scales. For example, recently, Asseng et al. 2013 and Bassu et al. 2013 used experimental data at site scale to explore, through ensemble modeling, the impacts of climate factors on crop yields.

As part of AgMIP, the UMD-TAMU research team is contributing to the Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison (GGCMI) project by developing a global capability to simulate crop yields with EPIC at half-degree resolution. Once developed and tested, this modeling capability, enhanced with satellite-based observations arising from the GEOGLAM program, will be extended to make near-real time predictions of crop yields and environmental processes.