Assessing climate change impacts and adaptation options for farm performance using bio-economic models in Southwestern France

Johannes Schuler*, Roos Adelhart Toorop, Magali Willaume, Anthony Vermue, Nicole Schläfke, Sandra Uthes, Peter Zander, Walter Rossing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Regional impact studies are needed to explore possible adaptation options to climate change. We estimated impacts and adaptation options for future scenarios that feature different assumptions regarding climate, cropping pattern and access to irrigation with two bio-economic farm models. Farm profit, soil organic matter balance and labor input are used as indicators of farm performance. The difference between the baseline and the alternative configurations computed by models is referred as adaptation potential, indicative of the adaptation options including the corresponding changes in cropping patterns. Our results show that as long as there is sufficient access to irrigation water, there is little incentive to change current practices, as farming is at the economic optimum, has a positive soil organic matter balance and labor requirements can be met. Conversely, if irrigation is no longer possible, drastic impacts occur, causing a need to sustainably adjust on-going farm practices. Adaptation through changed crop selection reduced losses to some extent. We conclude that the use of bio-economic models can assist in evaluating the qualitative findings of participatory studies by quantitatively assessing possible climate change impacts and adaptation measures. Strong impacts of climate change, however, cannot be offset by changes in cropping patterns and need further adaptation measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7528
JournalSustainability
Volume12
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Bio-economic models
  • Climate change
  • Irrigation
  • Model comparison
  • Southern France

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