News Release 

Scientists and stakeholders work together to help farmers respond to climate change

AgMIP climate change assessments benefit vulnerable farmers through interdisciplinary, multi-scale, and multi-model approach

World Scientific

Book Announcement

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Credit: World Scientific

"The global food system is challenged to become sustainable in multiple ways," said Cynthia Rosenzweig, AgMIP Co-Founder and Executive Committee Member, and lead-editor of Volume 5 of the Handbook of Climate Change and Agroecosystems: Climate Change and Farming System Planning in Africa and South Asia: AgMIP Stakeholder-driven Research (In 2 Parts), "It needs to produce adequate nutrition for the rising world population, provide sustainable livelihoods for farmers all over the world, and reduce detrimental environmental effects, all while addressing the challenge of climate change."

The latest volume by the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is a milestone for AgMIP as it marks the fruition of a multi-year project funded by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (UK DFID). The project advanced the field of climate change impacts and adaptation in agriculture through the development of the AgMIP Regional Integrated Assessment (RIA) methodology. The RIA method provides significant improvements to climate change assessments through a stakeholder-driven farming system approach that is interdisciplinary (climate, crop, livestock, and economics experts), multi-scale (farm, region, and global), and multi-model (ensembles of global climate models and crop models), with results that identify the most vulnerable groups of farmers through distributional analysis.

AgMIP is a unique international collaborative effort that assesses the state of global and regional agriculture, with a specific focus on understanding the impacts of climate variability and climate change and developing effective solutions. The AgMIP project developed new fundamental innovative protocol-based methodologies for Regional Integrated Assessments, while enhancing the capacity of developing countries to address the challenges brought on by current and future climate stresses.

"AgMIP climate and agricultural system research teams in seven countries of South Asia and Sub-Saharan involved expert stakeholders to establish key vulnerability indicators for model-based Regional Integrated Assessments. The community of researchers followed protocols they jointly developed for exploring preferred adaptation packages in contrasting future conditions. The method helps guide thinking on the benefits and trade-offs of adaptations given likely future technologies, and helps guide adaptation and resilience planning, while improving research methods." said Carolyn Z. Mutter, AgMIP International Program Manager.

There are several unique features of this book that sets it apart from other science-based assessments and reports. First, it is solution-oriented in that the findings and recommendations are intended to be actionable by stakeholders and decision-makers who were an integral part of the assessment process. This participatory approach enables the findings and outcomes to be accessible and useful for adaptive measures towards a more sustainable food system for present and future generations. Second, the regional and sectoral focus of the assessment, based on newly developed Representative Agricultural Pathways, accounts for specific and unique soil-crop-climate conditions regionally and globally. Third, the multidisciplinary team of scientists and decision-makers that AgMIP recruited and engaged in the assessment process facilitated sharing the best-available information. Finally, these efforts helped to advance the state of scientific understanding, knowledge, and access to observations, models, and analysis tools.

Written by contributors from the AgMIP teams at leading institutions in the United States, United Kingdom, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Tanzania, Netherlands, Australia, South Africa, Ghana, Philippines, Zimbabwe, Zambia, India, Mali, Senegal, Austria, Niger, Kenya, Botswana, Costa Rica, and Chile, Climate Change and Farming System Planning in Africa and South Asia: AgMIP Stakeholder-driven Research (In 2 Parts) explores the work of the AgMIP Regional Integrated Assessment Teams and how it contributes directly to national planning for climate change.

Said Erik Mencos Contreras, AgMIP Project Coordinator, "AgMIP is establishing research standards worldwide, so future studies no longer use different assumptions across regions and models; while at the same time developing a rigorous process to evaluate agricultural models, which results in continuous model improvement. This is of great help for scientists in Africa and Asia as they work with policy-makers to implement solutions."

The intended readership for this book is professionals in the fields of agriculture, resource economics, climate science, and environmental engineering, as well as academics including professors and undergraduate and graduate students.

Handbook of Climate Change and Agroecosystems (Vol 5), Climate Change and Farming System Planning in Africa and South Asia: AgMIP Stakeholder-driven Research (In 2 Parts) retails for US$380 / £335 (hardcover) per set and is also available in electronic formats. To order or know more about the book, visit http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/Q0259.

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About the Editors

Cynthia Rosenzweig is a leader in the field of climate change impacts. She is an adjunct senior research scientist at Columbia University's Center for Climate Systems Research and a Professor in the Department of Environmental Science at Barnard College. She is also a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where she heads the Climate Impacts Group. She is the co-founder of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), a major international collaboration to improve global agricultural modeling, understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector, and enhance adaptation capacity in developing and developed countries. She is now spearheading the AgMIP coordinated global and regional assessments of effects of climate change on the food system, including effects on nutrition. She was a coordinating lead author of the food security chapter for the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land. She was named as one of Nature's 'Ten People Who Mattered in 2012'. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she joins impact models with climate models to project future outcomes under altered climate conditions.

Carolyn Mutter is a senior staff officer of research at Columbia University's Center for Climate Systems Research. She regularly serves as Principal Investigator for Columbia grants and awards in support of AgMIP research and network building activities. This includes partner visits to facilitate collaborative planning and proposals for work packages involving AgMIP teams nationally and internationally, as well as contributions to research publications, including through role of co-editor for AgMIP Research volumes. She also heads the AgMIP Coordination Unit team, facilitating activities of the AgMIP Steering Council, Executive Committee, and Leaders Forum in support of a diverse membership of over 1000 scientists worldwide; providing oversight of budget and staff, web development, updates, and blogs to increase visibility and awareness of, as well as access to results; and, the convening of regular high level global and regional workshops that enable AgMIP members to advance research collaborations including protocols for comparing and improving models.

Erik Mencos Contreras is a staff officer of research at Columbia University's Center for Climate Systems Research. He serves as member of the AgMIP Coordination Unit. He assists AgMIP research output by supporting the writing and editing of multi-author, peer-reviewed papers, as well as white papers, concept notes, and reports. He was a contributing author and chapter scientist of the food security chapter in the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land. He supports AgMIP by working collaboratively with program managers, researchers, Columbia University finance officers, and sponsor agency officials on the overall research coordination and financial management of the program. He also supports the organization and execution of multi-disciplinary international workshops and meetings, which bring together the community of AgMIP researchers from all around the world to share cutting edge methods and findings, identify key science messages, and plan future initiatives.

About World Scientific Publishing Co.

World Scientific Publishing is a leading international independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research and professional communities. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organisations like the Nobel Foundation and US National Academies Press to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. The company publishes about 600 books and over 140 journals in various fields annually. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit http://www.worldscientific.com.

For more information, contact Amanda at heyun@wspc.com.

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