Cross-cutting uncertainties in MACSUR impact projections

Reimund Paul Rötter


Projections into the future, such as climate change impact projections on crop production for a given region, or, on global food prices and trade are inherently uncertain. Uncertainty does not fall within a single discipline but is dealt with by a wide variety of disciplines, themes and problem domains. Model uncertainty pertaining to the impact modelling chain from climate via crop and livestock to economic and trade modelling is only part of the overall uncertainty*. There is also scenario uncertainty and many other known and unknown “unknowns”1 to be considered in efforts such as MACSUR and its themes (CropM, LiveM, TradeM) to advance model-based integrated assessment of climate change risk assessment for agriculture and food security. Propagation of uncertainties along the climate change impact modelling chain has been portrayed as “uncertainty cascade” 2. We will present different basic approaches for evaluating uncertainty in models. So far, studies addressing quantification and reporting of uncertainties in impact projections still largely focus on two major sources, i.e. the shares originating from climate modelling and from crop modelling. However, a more comprehensive treatment of uncertainty and how it is reported is urgently needed.

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