Keynote Presentations from the 2nd AVEC International Summer School, Peyresq, 18-30 September 2005

Speaker: Marco Bindi
Università degli Studi di Firenze, Facoltà Agraria, Piazzale delle Cascine 18, 50144 Firenze Italy

Title of the talk: Agricultural systems and their vulnerability to climate change (pdf: 3MB)

Summary of the talk by Michael Lütz and Kimberly Nicholas Cahill: Students´ summary (pdf)


Agricultural systems and their vulnerability to climate change

Human activities are affecting the composition of the atmosphere, influencing global and regional temperatures and rainfall and through these a large range of physical and biological processes. These changes appear likely to continue over the forthcoming century. As climate and atmospheric CO2 concentration are key factors in influencing plant production and other ecosystem processes such as decomposition, it is not surprising that changes in these will have consequences for the functioning of cropping systems. These consequences are likely to vary widely depending on the cropping system being investigated (i.e. cereals vs forage crops vs perennial horticulture), the region and the likely climate changes. For many cool-temperate systems, the prospect of global warming may bring new opportunities provided rainfall doesn’t decline substantially. For warm-temperate and tropical regions, the impacts may be significant and negative with increasing water stress, increasing problems associated with high temperature conditions and a need for either substantial change in varieties and management activities or land-use change. There are a large number of adaptation options that may be explored to minimise negative impacts of climate changes and to take advantage of positive changes. These can be categorised as operating within different time-scales (i.e. short-term or long-term) or different spatial scales (i.e. farm level to national policy level). We outline what some of these options may be at these different scales.

Recommended background literature on this presentation:

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