Title: Analysis of climate change impacts on EU agriculture by 2050
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2020
JRC N°: JRC119632
ISBN: 978-92-76-10617-3 (online)
ISSN: 1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 30078 EN
OP KJ-NA-30078-EN-N (online)
URI: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC119632
DOI: 10.2760/121115
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The 2013 EU strategy on adaptation to climate change aims at contributing to a more climate-resilient Europe. However, there are still large gaps in understanding and characterising climate impacts in Europe and how impacts in the rest of the world could affect Europe. This report provides quantitative modelling-based results from biophysical and agro-economic models as part of the PESETA-IV (Projection of Economic impacts of climate change in Sectors of the European Union based on bottom-up Analysis) project. We analyse climate change projections for 2050 considering the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) of 8.5 W/m2 (with corresponding global warming levels ranging between 1.6 oC and 2.7 oC compared to pre-industrial levels), as well as for 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming conditions. Results show that climate change will pose a threat to global food production in the medium to long term, and that Europe will also be affected. Forced by the projected changes in daily temperature, precipitation, wind, relative humidity, and global radiation, grain maize yields in the EU will decline between 1% and 22%. In addition, wheat yields in Southern Europe are expected to decrease by up to 49%. However, in Northern Europe some of the negative productivity effects caused by climate change may be partially offset by higher levels of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and changing precipitation regimes. Losses, especially in Southern Europe may be reduced by tailored adaptation strategies; e.g. changing varieties and crop types, increasing and improving irrigation practices for certain crops and when economically feasible. However, limitations on sustainable water abstraction levels could become a barrier to increase irrigation levels, specifically in the Mediterranean countries (particularly Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Italy and Turkey) where duration of water scarcity under global warming are projected to intensify. As large negative climate change impacts on productivity outside of the EU are estimated, large market spill-over effects will push up production in both Northern and Southern Europe through higher demand for some agricultural commodities outside of EU, resulting in higher producer prices. This, in turn, may benefit farmers' income and have positive effects on the EU’s agricultural commodity exports. However, other limiting factors (not all fully integrated into the used modelling system yet), such as increasing water shortage in Southern Europe (Task 10) and constraints on the expansion of irrigation, increasing impacts of heatwaves and droughts, consequences of reduction of nutrient use due to environmental and climate mitigation constraints, need to be further evaluated.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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