A New Paradigm for Assessing the Role of Agriculture in the Climate System and in Climate Change

We have had a paper accepted for a special issue of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology that is part of a collection of contributions resulting from a Workshop led by R. L. Desjardins, M.V.K. Sivakumar, and C. de Kimpe. The Workshop discussed the contribution of agriculture to climate and was held in Ottawa, Canada, from 27 to 30 September 2004. It was organized under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Environment Canada, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

Our paper is entitled “A new paradigm for assessing the role of agriculture in the climate system and in climate change” with authorship Pielke Sr., R.A., J.O. Adegoke, T.N. Chase, C.H. Marshall, T. Matsui, and D. Niyogi. The abstract of the paper reads,

“This paper discusses the diverse climate forcings that impact agricultural systems, and contrasts the current paradigm of using global models downscaled to agricultural areas (a top-down approach) with a new paradigm that first assesses the vulnerability of agricultural activities to the spectrum of environmental risk including climate (a bottom-up approach). To illustrate the wide spectrum of climate forcings, regional climate forcings are presented including land-use/land-cover change and the influence of aerosols on radiative and biogeochemical fluxes and cloud/precipitation processes, as well as how these effects can be teleconnected globally. Examples are presented of the vulnerability perspective, along with a small survey of the perceived drought impacts in a local area, in which a wide range of impacts for the same precipitation deficits are found. This example illustrates why agricultural assessments of risk to climate change and variability and of other environmental risks should start with a bottom-up perspective.”

The entire paper can be viewed at the link above.

This paper provides a specific example (with respect to agriculture) of why a vulnerability perspective (a bottom-up approach) to environmental risk is more inclusive and of more value to policymakers than a top-down approach based on GCM projections. With the catastrophic damage resulting from the combined natural and human-caused disaster from Hurricane Katrina, we need to adopt the vulnerability paradigm for all natural and man-made resources.

1 Comment

Filed under Vulnerability Paradigm

One response to “A New Paradigm for Assessing the Role of Agriculture in the Climate System and in Climate Change

  1. Pingback: (Collective) Displacement: Solve for Y, When X Is Too Tough? – Neelu

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