Climate Change and Agriculture in Latin America, 2020-2050 : Projected Impacts and Response to Adaptation Strategiesby Fernandes, Erick C. M.; Soliman, Ayat; Confalonieri, Roberto; Donatelli, Marcello; Tubiello, Francesco
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The book describes the findings of a study to develop an open-access crop-climate impact modeling platform (Agroecological Zone Simulator - AZS) for the Latin American region and the use of the AZS platform for projecting the impacts of climate change with and without simulated adaptation on four major crops soybean, corn, wheat, and rice to 2020 and 2050. The AZS simulations suggest that the prevailing and often expressed view that Latin America will continue to be the breadbasket of the future-stepping in to supply grain to other regions affected by climate change-needs to be tempered and subjected to further rigorous testing. The AZS estimates confirm and extend previous findings indicating that the impacts of climate change on agriculture in the region could be significant even by 2020, with rising risks to maize, soybean, and wheat production in most producing countries by 2050. Encouragingly, however, for rice, the AZS estimates show that productivity could, on average, increase across the region. In addition, adaptation interventions such as the targeted use of irrigation, the development and use of improved varieties, and the change of sowing dates could significantly reduce the projected negative impacts of plausible climate shocks. This finding emphasizes the urgency for adequate investments in adaptation strategies to ensure that the projected shocks to agricultural productivity can be reduced. In most cases, such investments may take several decades to begin having a positive impact.