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NASA infrared photo of Earth, showing temperature variations in the Western Hemisphere.


AgMIP: Climate Change and Food Security

Modeling Today to Understand Tomorrow: Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Staying ahead of the curve and prepared for future agricultural challenges ensures an adequate, safe food supply and secures human heath, quality of life, and enhances economic development. Scientists explore crop production systems to understand interactions changing yield outcomes. For example, a lack of water causes a plant to wither, and rain will make it grow. This is predictable. Scientists model interactions and outcomes mathematically, then test the models using historical inputs of crop and weather conditions. Models accurately predicting known outcomes from prior crop years can be used to predict future outcomes using various scenerios entered into the model. For example, researchers can alter the amount of rainfall, nutrients, or temperatures, and more. Climate, management, and economics each affect which crops, and how much are grown and sold each year. Unique models for different crops grown, and separate models for climate and weather patterns and predictions, as well as models for economics co-exist, but are difficult to put together. Finding the best researchers to compare different models and improve them, and to put the crop, economic, and climate models together to see and predict the bigger picture is the goal of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)Scientists from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Columbia University, and the University of Florida developed AgMIP. The project grew to 40 countries now providing scientific experts from a range of crops, climate change, and economics. New partners include Oregon State University, Wageningen University (Netherlands), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

AgMIP Scientists are arranged in four teams: