skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: The vulnerabilities of agricultural land and food production to future water scarcity

Abstract

With a rapidly expanding population and climate change having an impact, pressures on food production systems are expected to increase in coming decades. To meet current demand, it is estimated that over one third of the earth’s land surface is used as cropland or pastures (FAO, 2016b). Although management intensification, such as increasing fertiliser application rates (FAO, 2014b), has led to more productive systems, much of this has been at the expense of the environment, including increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as nitrous oxide (Alexandratos and Buinsma, 2012). Management strategies that aim to achieve high N use efficiencies (Wang et al., 2017) and closing of crop yield gaps have been proposed as ways of alleviating pressures on food production systems (Foley et al., 2011; Mueller et al., 2012). However the net benefits these strategies is predicated on environments that are not resource limited. The aim of this study, therefore, is to combine the projections of changes in water scarcity with the projected areas of future agricultural land, to identify the potential regional vulnerabilities of agricultural land and food production to water scarcity. By combining global maps of projected cropland and pasture area with an ensemble of water scarcity projections,more » we aim to quantify the risks that water scarcity could pose to land-based food production in 2050. An in-depth analysis is also undertaken for specific food commodities: maize, rice, wheat, vegetables, fruit and pulses on croplands, and cattle production systems t on grasslands.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [6];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [10];  [8];  [11];  [12];  [13];  [6]; ORCiD logo [7];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Aberdeen, Scotland (United Kingdom)
  2. Univ. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh (United Kingdom); Univ. of Edinburgh, Midlothian (United Kingdom)
  3. Univ. of Reading, Reading (United Kingdom)
  4. Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  5. Pacific Northwest National Lab., College Park, MD (United States)
  6. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (The Netherlands)
  7. Univ. of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN (United States)
  8. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg (Austria)
  9. National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba (Japan)
  10. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, St. Lucia, QLD (Australia)
  11. Wageningen Univ. and Research Centre, The Hague (The Netherlands)
  12. Univ. of Exeter, Exeter (United Kingdom)
  13. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1557674
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1561114
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-134809
Journal ID: ISSN 0959-3780
Grant/Contract Number:  
NE/M021327/1; AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Global Environmental Change
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 58; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0959-3780
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Land use; Food security; Water availability; Shared socio-economic pathways

Citation Formats

Fitton, N., Alexander, P., Arnell, N., Bajzelj, B., Calvin, K., Doelman, J., Gerber, J. S., Havlik, P., Hasegawa, T., Herrero, M., Krisztin, T., van Meijl, H., Powell, T., Sands, R., Stehfest, E., West, P. C., and Smith, P. The vulnerabilities of agricultural land and food production to future water scarcity. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.101944.
Fitton, N., Alexander, P., Arnell, N., Bajzelj, B., Calvin, K., Doelman, J., Gerber, J. S., Havlik, P., Hasegawa, T., Herrero, M., Krisztin, T., van Meijl, H., Powell, T., Sands, R., Stehfest, E., West, P. C., & Smith, P. The vulnerabilities of agricultural land and food production to future water scarcity. United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.101944
Fitton, N., Alexander, P., Arnell, N., Bajzelj, B., Calvin, K., Doelman, J., Gerber, J. S., Havlik, P., Hasegawa, T., Herrero, M., Krisztin, T., van Meijl, H., Powell, T., Sands, R., Stehfest, E., West, P. C., and Smith, P. Fri . "The vulnerabilities of agricultural land and food production to future water scarcity". United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.101944. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1557674.
@article{osti_1557674,
title = {The vulnerabilities of agricultural land and food production to future water scarcity},
author = {Fitton, N. and Alexander, P. and Arnell, N. and Bajzelj, B. and Calvin, K. and Doelman, J. and Gerber, J. S. and Havlik, P. and Hasegawa, T. and Herrero, M. and Krisztin, T. and van Meijl, H. and Powell, T. and Sands, R. and Stehfest, E. and West, P. C. and Smith, P.},
abstractNote = {With a rapidly expanding population and climate change having an impact, pressures on food production systems are expected to increase in coming decades. To meet current demand, it is estimated that over one third of the earth’s land surface is used as cropland or pastures (FAO, 2016b). Although management intensification, such as increasing fertiliser application rates (FAO, 2014b), has led to more productive systems, much of this has been at the expense of the environment, including increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as nitrous oxide (Alexandratos and Buinsma, 2012). Management strategies that aim to achieve high N use efficiencies (Wang et al., 2017) and closing of crop yield gaps have been proposed as ways of alleviating pressures on food production systems (Foley et al., 2011; Mueller et al., 2012). However the net benefits these strategies is predicated on environments that are not resource limited. The aim of this study, therefore, is to combine the projections of changes in water scarcity with the projected areas of future agricultural land, to identify the potential regional vulnerabilities of agricultural land and food production to water scarcity. By combining global maps of projected cropland and pasture area with an ensemble of water scarcity projections, we aim to quantify the risks that water scarcity could pose to land-based food production in 2050. An in-depth analysis is also undertaken for specific food commodities: maize, rice, wheat, vegetables, fruit and pulses on croplands, and cattle production systems t on grasslands.},
doi = {10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.101944},
journal = {Global Environmental Change},
number = C,
volume = 58,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 8 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referencing / citing this record:

National Land Use Policy against the Misuse of the Agricultural Land—Causes and Effects. Evidence from Poland
journal, November 2019

  • Źróbek-Różańska, Alina; Zielińska-Szczepkowska, Joanna
  • Sustainability, Vol. 11, Issue 22
  • DOI: 10.3390/su11226403

Integrated Solutions for the Water-Energy-Land Nexus: Are Global Models Rising to the Challenge?
journal, October 2019

  • Johnson, Nils; Burek, Peter; Byers, Edward
  • Water, Vol. 11, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.3390/w11112223