- Joint Program Report
A cropland distribution model, which is based on climate, soil and topography, is applied to estimate the area and spatial distribution of global potential croplands under contemporary climate and to assess the effect of transient climate changes projected by the MIT Integrated Global System Model for assessment of climate change. The area of global potential croplands is about 32.91 x 106 km 2 under contemporary climate, and increases substantially over the period of 1977-2100 and differs among the three transient climate change predictions, being about +6.7% (2.20 x 106 km2), +11.5% (3.78 x 106 km2), and +12.5% (4.12 x 106 km2) in 2100, respectively. Among twelve economic regions of the world, the Former Soviet Union and the Other OECD Countries regions have the largest increases in potential croplands, while developing countries have little increases in potential croplands. Spatial distribution of potential croplands changes considerably over time, dependent upon the transient climate change predictions.