Enhancing Agricultural Decision-making via Spatially and Temporally Relevant Climate Information
|Harvey Hill, Ph.D.|
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada/Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada
1011, 11 Innovation Blvd.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7V 1B7 Canada
|The current scientific consensus regarding climate change is that green house gases are influencing long term atmospheric characteristics significantly. Such a process may have significant implications for agriculture, energy production, and consumption, as well as the long term development of regional and national economies. |
A consistent criticism of current global and regional coupled climate models is, however, the model results do not provide sufficiently precise information to agricultural risk managers to effectively adapt to changes in climate variability caused by anthropogenic forcing. This lack of clarity is unfortunate. As agricultural policy makers, processors, producers, and retailers must then make investment and management decisions with less information than is desirable.
One way to address such a gap is to utilize existing historic climate information in a more effective manner. Such an approach would provide information at an enhanced spatial and temporal scale. It would also, ideally, inform end users of changing probability distributions due to climate change or other naturally occurring cycles.
This presentation describes the strengths and weaknesses of an effort by the National Agro-climate Information Service and the National Land and Water Information Service of Agriculture Canada to develop an interpolated climate information grid for Canada’s agricultural regions. This will include a discussion of the project’s potential role in planning and risk management. The presentation will also describe how such an approach could be linked to regional economic analysis via integration with hydrology, economics, and geographic information systems.