- Conference Proceedings Paper
Multiple environmental changes that may occur over the next century will affect crop productivity. Some of these effects are likely to be positive (CO2 fertilization), some negative (tropospheric ozone damage), and some may be either positive or negative (temperature and precipitation). Climate effects may operate in either direction because the direction of change may differ across regions (more precipitation in some areas and less in others) and warming may increase growing season lengths in cold-limited growing areas while acting as a detriment to productivity in areas with already high temperatures. Previous work has shown the effects of these combined environmental changes on carbon sequestration in natural and managed systems, and valued these effects in terms of avoided costs of fossil fuel carbon abatement. The more direct and obvious economic effect, however, is the changes in crop yields implied by these vegetation effects. Here we use the MIT Integrated Global Systems Model (IGSM) to analyze the potential economic impact of changes in crop yields. For this work we have augmented the Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model by further disaggregating the agricultural sector. This allows us to simulate economic effects of changes in yield (i.e. the productivity of cropland) on the regional economies of the world, including impacts on agricultural trade. The EPPA model includes multiple channels of market-based adaptation, including input substitution and trade. We are thus able to examine the extent to which market forces contribute toward adaptation and thus modify the initial yield effects. We examine multiple scenarios where tropospheric ozone precursors are controlled or not, and where greenhouse gas emissions are abated or not. This allows us to consider how these policies interact. We focus on China, the US, and Europe which are currently regions with high levels of tropospheric ozone damage. We find significant negative effects of tropospheric ozone on crop yields and the agricultural economy under current conditions. Our results compare favorably with other methods that show damages of the same level. Our future simulations depend highly on whether tropospheric ozone precursors are controlled in the future. While policies exist in countries to limit tropospheric ozone as a local/regional pollutant, a growing problem particularly in the northern latitudes that include our focus regions, will be that background levels of ozone could reach levels such that it will be difficult for any one country to control its ozone levels without similar control efforts in other regions. This preliminary work highlights the importance of these policy interactions, and emphasizes the need for improved modeling of the atmospheric transport of pollutants.