The Mediterranean region has always shown a marked inter-annual variability in seasonal weather, creating uncertainty in decisional processes of cultivation and livestock breeding that should not be neglected when modeling farmers' adaptive responses. This is especially relevant when assessing the impact of climate change (CC), which modifies the atmospheric variability and generates new uncertainty conditions, and the possibility of adaptation of agriculture. Our analysis examines this aspect reconstructing the effects of inter-annual climate variability in a diversified farming district that well represents a wide range of rainfed and irrigated agricultural systems in the Mediterranean area. We used a Regional Atmospheric Modelling System and a weather generator to generate 150 stochastic years of the present and near future climate. Then, we implemented calibrated crop and livestock models to estimate the corresponding productive responses in the form of probability distribution functions (PDFs) under the two climatic conditions. We assumed these PDFs able to represent the expectations of farmers in a discrete stochastic programming (DSP) model that reproduced their economic behaviour under uncertainty conditions. The comparison of the results in the two scenarios provided an assessment of the impact of CC, also taking into account the possibility of adjustment allowed by present technologies and price regimes. The DSP model is built in blocks that represent the farm typologies operating in the study area, each one with its own resource endowment, decisional constraints and economic response. Under this latter aspect, major differences emerged among farm typologies and sub-zones of the study area. A crucial element of differentiation was water availability, since only irrigated C3 crops took full advantage from the fertilization effect of increasing atmospheric CO2concentration. Rainfed crop production was depressed by the expected reduction of spring rainfall associated to the higher temperatures. So, a dualism emerges between the smaller impact on crop production in the irrigated plain sub-zone, equipped with collective water networks and abundant irrigation resources, and the major negative impact in the hilly area, where these facilities and resources are absent. However intensive dairy farming was also negatively affected in terms of milk production and quality, and cattle mortality because of the increasing summer temperatures. This provides explicit guidance for addressing strategic adaptation policies and for framing farmers' perception of CC, in order to help them to develop an awareness of the phenomena that are already in progress, which is a prerequisite for effective adaptation responses.

Winners and losers from climate change in agriculture: Insights from a case study in the Mediterranean basin / Dono, Gabriele; Cortignani, Raffaele; Dell'Unto, Davide; Deligios, Paola; Doro, Luca; Lacetera, Nicola; Mula, Laura; Pasqui, Massimiliano; Quaresima, Sara; Vitali, Andrea; Roggero, Pier Paolo. - In: AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS. - ISSN 0308-521X. - 147:(2016), pp. 65-75. [10.1016/j.agsy.2016.05.013]

Winners and losers from climate change in agriculture: Insights from a case study in the Mediterranean basin

Deligios, Paola;Doro, Luca;LACETERA, Nicola;Mula, Laura;VITALI, Andrea;Roggero, Pier Paolo
2016

Abstract

The Mediterranean region has always shown a marked inter-annual variability in seasonal weather, creating uncertainty in decisional processes of cultivation and livestock breeding that should not be neglected when modeling farmers' adaptive responses. This is especially relevant when assessing the impact of climate change (CC), which modifies the atmospheric variability and generates new uncertainty conditions, and the possibility of adaptation of agriculture. Our analysis examines this aspect reconstructing the effects of inter-annual climate variability in a diversified farming district that well represents a wide range of rainfed and irrigated agricultural systems in the Mediterranean area. We used a Regional Atmospheric Modelling System and a weather generator to generate 150 stochastic years of the present and near future climate. Then, we implemented calibrated crop and livestock models to estimate the corresponding productive responses in the form of probability distribution functions (PDFs) under the two climatic conditions. We assumed these PDFs able to represent the expectations of farmers in a discrete stochastic programming (DSP) model that reproduced their economic behaviour under uncertainty conditions. The comparison of the results in the two scenarios provided an assessment of the impact of CC, also taking into account the possibility of adjustment allowed by present technologies and price regimes. The DSP model is built in blocks that represent the farm typologies operating in the study area, each one with its own resource endowment, decisional constraints and economic response. Under this latter aspect, major differences emerged among farm typologies and sub-zones of the study area. A crucial element of differentiation was water availability, since only irrigated C3 crops took full advantage from the fertilization effect of increasing atmospheric CO2concentration. Rainfed crop production was depressed by the expected reduction of spring rainfall associated to the higher temperatures. So, a dualism emerges between the smaller impact on crop production in the irrigated plain sub-zone, equipped with collective water networks and abundant irrigation resources, and the major negative impact in the hilly area, where these facilities and resources are absent. However intensive dairy farming was also negatively affected in terms of milk production and quality, and cattle mortality because of the increasing summer temperatures. This provides explicit guidance for addressing strategic adaptation policies and for framing farmers' perception of CC, in order to help them to develop an awareness of the phenomena that are already in progress, which is a prerequisite for effective adaptation responses.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11388/202904
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