Handbook on Climate Change and Agriculture
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Handbook on Climate Change and Agriculture

Edited by Ariel Dinar and Robert Mendelsohn

This book explores the interaction between climate change and the agriculture sector. Agriculture is essential to the livelihood of people and nations, especially in the developing world; therefore, any impact on it will have significant economic, social, and political ramifications. Scholars from around the world and from various fields have been brought together to explore this important topic.
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Chapter 15: Hydro-economic Modeling to Assess Climate Impact and Adaptation for Agriculture in California

Josué Medellín-Azuara, Richard E. Howitt and Jay R. Lund


Josué Medellín-Azuara, Richard E. Howitt and Jay R. Lund INTRODUCTION Dry–warm forms of climate change may significantly change water availability and agricultural yields and revenues in many parts of the world by the mid-century. Growing populations will demand more water and, in addition, urban footprint and environmental requirements may impose additional pressures on agricultural water uses. Counteracting factors such as technological improvements and price increases in some agricultural commodities may partially compensate losses to climate change and competing uses. In this chapter, we present and further discuss results from previous studies (Medellín-Azuara et al., in press) on adaptation of agriculture to climate change by mid-century in the midst of growing competing uses and technological change. We use irrigated agriculture in California as our case study. Previous studies on yield change suggest that various forms of climate change may severely affect most crops in California’s Central Valley (Adams et al., 2003; Lobell et al., 2007; Schlenker et al., 2005). We employ the Statewide Agricultural Production (SWAP, http://swap.ucdavis. edu) model, a hydro-economic model for agricultural production in California. SWAP (Howitt et al., 2001) uses positive mathematical programming (Howitt, 1995), which is a deductive method that self-calibrates a base case to observed values of production factors use. Climate warming, technological change and urban footprint changes are introduced to contrast an unchanged historical climate, and to project climate change by 2050 with the 2005 base case for agricultural production. Water deliveries under both historical climate and climate change from larger...

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