Assessment of cereal production and food security under climate change in the Euro-Mediterranean Region
Future climate projections indicate a northward shift of suitable agricultural areas with a potential intensification of cropping systems in northern Europe, and a decrease in crop productivity in southern Europe mainly due to extreme temperatures and reduction in precipitation and water availability. Furthermore, the uncertainty in projecting climate change impacts on agricultural productivity at the regional scale affects the choice of appropriate adaptation strategies.The main objective of this study is to assess the potential risk for cereal production and food security in the Euro-Mediterranean area and North Africa due to climate change, integrating multiple factors. Simulations were carried out using the CSM-CERES-Wheat and CSM-CERES-Maize crop models implemented in the DSSAT (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer) software. A spatially distributed routine integrating DSSAT with large geodatasets characterizing the environment (climate and edaphic) conditions and management options (e.g. agronomic practices, irrigation, fertilization) was applied to perform the simulation of grain yield for durum wheat, common wheat, and maize in each grid cell. An ensemble of climate projections from ISIMIP (Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project) were used as input to the crop models. The uncertainty and model agreement of projected changes in crop yield, under current and future CO2 values (according to RCP8.5) were evaluated and new potential and high risk areas for cereal production were identified. Moreover, socio-economic indicators were considered to evaluate the exposure and adaptive capacity of the system and estimate the potential risk for cereal production. The result is a four dimensions single map that combine the selected variable and indices. Results show a potential decrease in cereal production per capita in the west Mediterranean area, North Africa and Turkey. However, the potential risk differ across these regions, according with the adaptive capacity of each area. Results also show a potential increase in cereal production per capita in north eastern Europe. Overall, there is high agreement across models.