Modelling System for Agricultural Impacts of Climate Change (MOSAICC)

The crop component

Increasing temperatures, changing rain patterns, higher levels of CO2 and more extreme weather are a few of the climate change related events that affect the growth and quality of crops. In order to develop possible adaptation strategies it is important to determine how climate change may impact crop production.

Two models have been integrated in MOSAICC to assess climate change impacts on crop yields.

The first one, a water balance model called WABAL, is a crop-specific model designed to simulate soil water balance for individual crops. Using the data from the climate component, the WABAL model produces various water balance variables, such as evapotranspiration, water deficit and water satisfaction index, for the growing season and the different growth stages. Regression models are then built based on these variables to predict crop yields.

The second model, AQUACROP, simulates crop responses to water in a more sophisticated way than WABAL, and may be applied at a smaller scale simulation. It distinguishes the soil evaporation and the crop transpiration, simulates the root development, the expansion of the canopy as well as the water stresses, and provides biomass production and yield estimates. The effect of the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is taken into account as well.