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

Abstract

Rapidly increasing populations coupled with increased food demand requires either an expansion of agricultural land or sufficient production gains from current resources. However, in a changing world, reduced water availability might undermine improvements in crop and grass productivity and may disproportionately affect different parts of the world. Using multi-model studies, the potential trends, risks and uncertainties to land use and land availability that may arise from reductions in water availability are examined here. In addition, the impacts of different policy interventions on pressures from emerging risks are examined. Results indicate that globally, approximately 11% and 10% of current crop- and grass-lands could be vulnerable to reduction in water availability and may lose some productive capacity, with Africa and the Middle East, China, Europe and Asia particularly at risk. While uncertainties remain, reduction in agricultural land area associated with dietary changes (reduction of food waste and decreased meat consumption) offers the greatest buffer against land loss and food insecurity.

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: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: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 = {Rapidly increasing populations coupled with increased food demand requires either an expansion of agricultural land or sufficient production gains from current resources. However, in a changing world, reduced water availability might undermine improvements in crop and grass productivity and may disproportionately affect different parts of the world. Using multi-model studies, the potential trends, risks and uncertainties to land use and land availability that may arise from reductions in water availability are examined here. In addition, the impacts of different policy interventions on pressures from emerging risks are examined. Results indicate that globally, approximately 11% and 10% of current crop- and grass-lands could be vulnerable to reduction in water availability and may lose some productive capacity, with Africa and the Middle East, China, Europe and Asia particularly at risk. While uncertainties remain, reduction in agricultural land area associated with dietary changes (reduction of food waste and decreased meat consumption) offers the greatest buffer against land loss and food insecurity.},
doi = {10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.101944},
journal = {Global Environmental Change},
number = [C],
volume = [58],
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

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