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Challenges ahead as a result of climate change: what works and how has the challenge changed?


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Presented by Mark Howden at the ISPC Science Forum 2016, Addis Ababa, 12-14 April 2016

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Challenges ahead as a result of climate change: what works and how has the challenge changed?

  1. 1. Challenges ahead as a result of climate change: what works and how has the challenge changed? Mark Howden ANU Climate Change Institute Addis Ababa, 12-14 April 2016
  2. 2. ANU CCI / ANU ECI Porter et al. 2014 Impacts of climate change on major crop yield increasingly understood • High level of variation and uncertainty • Limited range of adaptations assessed • Issues not included (e.g. pests and diseases, climate variability), timescales problematic
  3. 3. ANU CCI / ANU ECI Porter et al. 2014 Yield variability likely to increase
  4. 4. ANU CCI / ANU ECI • livestock • minor and ‘orphan’ crops • nutrition and quality aspects • value chains • social norms and institutional arrangements • less is known of the stability dimension of food security than availability and access • these gaps often align with issues most important to poor people and to less-developed regions • the likelihood of rapidly closing these gaps seems low Limitations and gaps
  5. 5. ANU CCI / ANU ECI From research to an operational system Lacey et al. 2014, Howden et al. 2013
  6. 6. ANU CCI / ANU ECI • the consequence of not matching genetics, management or strategy to the climate is either underperformance and/or increasing risk • often single, simple, technical and short-term adaptations to existing systems with little attention to the more complex, compound, highly contextual, strategic, tacit, socially and institutionally-mediated changes that often characterise real-world change processes • Link to mitigation and other dimensions of change Adaptation: a ‘no-brainer’ often not well-covered
  7. 7. ANU CCI / ANU ECI • Subtle pressures to focus on existing systems only may result in maladaptation – and in missed opportunities • Need to consider more systemic and transformational adaptations – increasingly so as changes continue Incremental Systemic Transformational Howden et al. (2010), Rickards and Howden (2012), Vermuelen et al. (2013), Ripphe et al. (2016) Comprehensiveness: More than incremental
  8. 8. ANU CCI / ANU ECI • Relative advantage • Compatibility • Complexity or simplicity • Trialability • Observability • All challenging if framed as only for future risk • Therefore need to focus on existing systems and managing climate variability and trends and integrating with other issues • Address path-dependency Rogers (1962) Designing better adoption paths
  9. 9. ANU CCI / ANU ECIHowden et al. 2004, Crimp et al. 2016 Ignore 100-year Decadal - Adaptive Mean gross margin (Wagga) $119/ha +$8/ha +$17/ha Mean gross margin (Emerald) $34/ha -$5/ha +$18/ha 50s 60s 70s 80s 00s Adapting to trends in frost risk is profitable
  10. 10. ANU CCI / ANU ECI 2007 2009 2011 2012  no cultivation, no- till and stubble retention  guidance systems  press wheels for water harvesting  inter-row sowing  opportunity cropping  less canola and pulses  hay  soil testing for N and water  sowing by the calendar not on moisture (dry sowing)  containment areas for livestock  low P rates and N only just in time  postpone machinery purchases  no burning of stubbles  shorter season and heat tolerant varieties  variable sowing rate  improve sheep production  canola only on soil moisture  bought and leased more light (sandy) country  concentrate on marketing (futures and foreign exchange rates)  decrease debt  off-farm income  reduce costs  improve harvest efficiency  simplify all operations  larger paddocks – easier management  improve labour efficiency  improve financial management  requirement for more information and knowledge Crimp et al. 2012 The climate adaptation journey
  11. 11. ANU CCI / ANU ECI A. Incremental adaptor B. Transformational adaptor Social norms and social learning is important Dowd et al. (2014) reflecting Rogers (1962), Becker (1970), Granovetter (1973)
  12. 12. ANU CCI / ANU ECI A. Incremental adaptor B. Transformational adaptor Dowd et al. (2014) Information networks
  13. 13. ANU CCI / ANU ECI FUTURE IMPACTS? CURRENT IMPACTS Sudden demand for alternative product stream Less predictabl e farming conditions Road closures and disruption s Increased energy costs Increased demand for low- carbon products Increased fuel costs Non-viable farming regions Worker heat stress Increased pressures for low- carbon New varieties; variation in quality Lim Camacho et al. 2014 • Climate issues integrated with other issues/opportunities Look at food systems and value chains
  14. 14. ANU CCI / ANU ECI • potential conflicts of interest (e.g. disciplinary bias, researchers advocating their own research, preferencing career metrics over value to decision-makers) • mechanical adherence to quantitative modelling and focus on the explicit rather than the tacit • mis-representation of research results as uncontroversial inputs into the operational decision-making of end-users • lack of unbiased and comprehensive communication of the diverse options and the benefits/risks associated with them • lack of awareness of the very different relationship a researcher and a decision-maker have to the adaptation decision itself in relation to risk and responsibility • lack of clarity between research and operational aspects Ethics in research Lacey et al. 2015
  15. 15. ANU CCI / ANU ECI Summary: real, robust, options, talk
  16. 16. Thankyou Prof Mark Howden ANU Climate Change Institute +61 2 6125 7266 Vice Chair, IPCC Working Group II