The CGIAR, Earth Systems Science Partnership (ESSP) Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security – Challenge Programme (CCAFS) would like to draw your attention to the final report on ‘The Meta-Analysis of Crop Modelling for Climate Change and Food Security Survey”. This report is based on 457 responses to an online survey conducted in 2010.
- An improvement in the quality of data used for calibration and testing purposes and as input to the models was seen as one of the most important ways of improving models. This is associated with a high requirement for improved availability of, and ease of access to shared data sets for calibration and model input.
- Use of models to improve understanding of processes was seen to be the best outcome, but policy development and climate change mitigation were not seen as key outcomes of model use.
- There is a paradox in that the main strengths of models were seen to be the detail of process representation, but not the skill in representing observed phenomena.
- The main strengths of the models were the representation of detailed processes, whereas the robustness in the quality of outputs was rated much lower.
- For improved modelling of climate change impacts, the best developments in process representation were seen to arise from better understanding and model representation of crop responses to extremes (particularly temperature and water limitations) and to elevated CO2.
- The main food crops are represented by models, but the focus of application is cereals, maize and rice.
- Models were seen as being easily transferable to new locations, but limited by the availability of location specific data (e.g. soils, management, and weather).
- About half of respondents said their models had not been calibrated against elevated CO2 experiments.
- Model evaluation and testing would be improved by availability of better quality data.
- Models need to be tested more against extremes of rainfall and temperature.
- Some models incorporate damage by insect pests, pathogens and physical damage (lodging, frosts, flooding), but there is a need for closer dynamic linking between weather, soil conditions and crop status with the characteristics of the individual form of damage in order to better represent observations.
- Modelling has been applied in most parts of the world, but the results indicate that the Middle East, Central Asia, African and Russian Federation countries have been under represented by modelling efforts.
- The quality and level of detail of documentation varies considerably between models, with clear potential for improvement.
- Funding was seen as the main factor limiting further model development.
- Mike Rivington (The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute)
- Jawoo Koo (International Food Policy Research Institute/HarvestChoice)