Our Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability research focuses on understanding the potential impacts of future climate change on natural resources, understanding the carbon cycle in agricultural soils and analyzing the vulnerability and resilience of states to climate change. Information from these studies is used to inform the energy and economic models, SGM and MiniCAM, developed at JGCRI.
Integrated Assessment of Climate Change Impacts
This research focuses on the potential impacts of future climate change on natural resource systems. Using process based simulation models and General Circulation Model (GCM) predictions of climate change, the group has conducted assessments of climate change impacts on production of major grain crops, water resources and unmanaged ecosystems in the continental United States. Analysis for the conterminous US was integrated with the models of emissions scenarios and agricultural economics in a study published inClimatic Change (69:1).
Previous work has contributed to the US National Assessment of Climate Variability and Change and also focused on decadal scale climate variability, such as the impacts of El Nino/Southern Oscillation on North American agriculture and water. In addition to continental-scale research, we have employed regional climate models for larger scale assessments of impacts on agricultural production and soils in the US Midwest, the Pacific Northwest and the Huang-Hai Plain of China.
Soil Carbon Sequestration
A current major initiative of the group is the study of carbon sequestration in agricultural soils. Changing the management of agricultural land can result in the soils drawing CO2 out of the atmosphere and sequestering it, improving soil quality while removing carbon from the atmosphere. This is one measure for climate change mitigation that is being discussed in international negotiations. Current projects involve studying the options for scaling from the site to region level, reproducing soil carbon dynamics at long-term agricultural experiment stations using ecosystem models and studying the historical carbon cycle of semi-arid grasslands in southeastern Arizona and its response to climate variability. In addition, researchers are focusing on the role of erosion in the agricultural soil carbon balance and the potenial impacts of climate change on soil C sequestration.
National Soil Carbon Sequestration Projects
- Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gasses
- Carbon Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems
Working with developers of the EPIC agricultural model, we have improved its ability to simulate soil carbon dynamics and currently we continue development of a denitrification sub-module. Currently, our research is focusing on applying this improved model version to simulate soil carbon dynamics on important agricultural lands worldwide. This global modeling effort will allow us to simulate of the impacts of climate change on major grain crop production worldwide. As part of this effort, we coordinate with scientists worldwide and host foreign visitors who come here to learn methods of climate change impact assessment.
Impacts Group Simulation Models
- Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC)
- Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX)
- Hydrologic Unit Model for the United States (HUMUS)
- BIOME3 Unmanaged Ecosystems Model
Other Ecosystem Models of Interest
Vulnerabilities and Adaptations
The goal of our Vulnerability and Adaptations research is to develop and apply methods for assessing the vulnerability of natural resources and socio-economic systems to climate variability and change.
Search the Publications database for more research from this group.
Climate Change Impacts: Cesar Izaurralde, Allison Thomson, and Norman Rosenberg.
Adaptation and Vulnerability: Elizabeth Malone, Richard Moss and Antoinette Brenkert.