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Title: Economic and Physical Modeling of Land Use in GCAM 3.0 and an Application to Agricultural Productivity, Land, and Terrestrial Carbon

We explore the impact of changes in agricultural productivity on global land use and terrestrial carbon using the new agriculture and land use modeling approach developed for Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM) version 3.0. This approach models economic land use decisions with regional, physical, and technological specificity while maintaining economic and physical integration with the rest of the GCAM model. Physical land characteristics and quantities are tracked explicitly, and crop production practices are modeled discretely to facilitate coupling with physical models. Economic land allocation is modeled with non-linear functions in a market equilibrium rather than through a constrained optimization. In this paper, we explore three scenarios of future agriculture productivity in all regions of the globe over this century, ranging from a high growth to a zero growth level. The higher productivity growth scenario leads to lower crop prices, increased production of crops in developing nations, preservation of global forested lands and lower terrestrial carbon emissions. The scenario with no productivity improvement results in higher crop prices, an expansion of crop production in the developed world, loss of forested lands globally, and higher terrestrial carbon emissions.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Climate Change Economics, 5(2):Article No. 14500
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States