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Title: The contribution of future agricultural trends in the US Midwest to global climate change mitigation

Land use change is a complex response to changing environmental and socioeconomic systems. Historical drivers of land use change include changes in the natural resource availability of a region, changes in economic conditions for production of certain products and changing policies. Most recently, introduction of policy incentives for biofuel production have influenced land use change in the US Midwest, leading to concerns that bioenergy production systems may compete with food production and land conservation. Here we explore how land use may be impacted by future climate mitigation measures by nesting a high resolution agricultural model (EPIC – Environmental Policy Indicator Climate) for the US Midwest within a global integrated assessment model (GCAM – Global Change Assessment Model). This approach is designed to provide greater spatial resolution and detailed agricultural practice information by focusing on the climate mitigation potential of agriculture and land use in a specific region, while retaining the global economic context necessary to understand the far ranging effects of climate mitigation targets. We find that until the simulated carbon prices are very high, the US Midwest has a comparative advantage in producing traditional food and feed crops over bioenergy crops. Overall, the model responds to multiple pressures bymore » adopting a mix of future responses. We also find that the GCAM model is capable of simulations at multiple spatial scales and agricultural technology resolution, which provides the capability to examine regional response to global policy and economic conditions in the context of climate mitigation.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Global Environmental Change, 24:143-154
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States