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Shifts in national land use and food production in Great Britain after a climate tipping point

Shifts in national land use and food production in Great Britain after a climate tipping point
Shifts in national land use and food production in Great Britain after a climate tipping point
Climate change is expected to impact agricultural land use. Steadily accumulating changes in temperature and water availability can alter the relative profitability of different farming activities and promote land-use changes. There is also potential for high-impact ‘climate tipping points’, where abrupt, nonlinear change in climate occurs, such as the potential collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Here, using data from Great Britain, we develop a methodology to analyse the impacts of a climate tipping point on land use and economic outcomes for agriculture. We show that economic and land-use impacts of such a tipping point are likely to include widespread cessation of arable farming with losses of agricultural output that are an order of magnitude larger than the impacts of climate change without an AMOC collapse. The agricultural effects of AMOC collapse could be ameliorated by technological adaptations such as widespread irrigation, but the amount of water required and the costs appear to be prohibitive in this instance.
76-83
Ritchie, Paul D. L.
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Smith, Greg S.
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Davis, Katrina J.
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Fezzi, Carlo
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Halleck-vega, Solmaria
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Harper, Anna B.
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Boulton, Chris A.
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Binner, Amy R.
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Day, Brett H.
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Gallego-sala, Angela V.
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Mecking, Jennifer V.
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Sitch, Stephen A.
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Lenton, Timothy M.
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Bateman, Ian J.
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Ritchie, Paul D. L.
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Smith, Greg S.
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Davis, Katrina J.
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Fezzi, Carlo
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Halleck-vega, Solmaria
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Harper, Anna B.
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Boulton, Chris A.
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Binner, Amy R.
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Day, Brett H.
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Gallego-sala, Angela V.
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Mecking, Jennifer V.
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Sitch, Stephen A.
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Lenton, Timothy M.
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Bateman, Ian J.
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Ritchie, Paul D. L., Smith, Greg S., Davis, Katrina J., Fezzi, Carlo, Halleck-vega, Solmaria, Harper, Anna B., Boulton, Chris A., Binner, Amy R., Day, Brett H., Gallego-sala, Angela V., Mecking, Jennifer V., Sitch, Stephen A., Lenton, Timothy M. and Bateman, Ian J. (2020) Shifts in national land use and food production in Great Britain after a climate tipping point. Nature Food, 1, 76-83. (doi:10.1038/s43016-019-0011-3).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Climate change is expected to impact agricultural land use. Steadily accumulating changes in temperature and water availability can alter the relative profitability of different farming activities and promote land-use changes. There is also potential for high-impact ‘climate tipping points’, where abrupt, nonlinear change in climate occurs, such as the potential collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Here, using data from Great Britain, we develop a methodology to analyse the impacts of a climate tipping point on land use and economic outcomes for agriculture. We show that economic and land-use impacts of such a tipping point are likely to include widespread cessation of arable farming with losses of agricultural output that are an order of magnitude larger than the impacts of climate change without an AMOC collapse. The agricultural effects of AMOC collapse could be ameliorated by technological adaptations such as widespread irrigation, but the amount of water required and the costs appear to be prohibitive in this instance.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 November 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 13 January 2020
Published date: January 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 441755
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/441755
PURE UUID: 850165a4-bbdd-41a1-a349-0e1429be131d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 Jun 2020 16:48
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 20:31

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Contributors

Author: Paul D. L. Ritchie
Author: Greg S. Smith
Author: Katrina J. Davis
Author: Carlo Fezzi
Author: Solmaria Halleck-vega
Author: Anna B. Harper
Author: Chris A. Boulton
Author: Amy R. Binner
Author: Brett H. Day
Author: Angela V. Gallego-sala
Author: Jennifer V. Mecking
Author: Stephen A. Sitch
Author: Timothy M. Lenton
Author: Ian J. Bateman

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