Modelling Crop Yield to Appraise Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in Timor-Leste

Authors: Bryan Collins*, University of Denver
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology, Asia
Keywords: climate change, island, asia, agriculture, model, food security, adaptation
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 6, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The overall effects of climate change are predicted to be globally disproportionate. Small island developing states (SIDS) are more vulnerable to climate change, necessitating immediate action to understand how citizens can start adapting to changing environmental conditions. Crop models, such as the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT), have a predominant role in assessing future conditions by gaging how environmental differences will affect crop yield. This project attempts to influence policy change in the realm of food security decision making. Non governmental organizations (NGOs) need scientific backing in order to gain support for implementing adaptation oriented projects such as community seed banks (CSBs). The study area for this project consists of three villages in Timor-Leste. The integration of DSSAT with current soil and weather data, future weather data generated by global climate models, and knowledge of farming practices, will estimate how crop yield at these locations will shift within the coming decades. Preliminary results indicate that crop yields for staple crops in the year 2050 will diminish across all four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), with RCP 8.5 predicted to impact yield the most. Future research will use sensitivity analyses to assess the importance of each environmental factor into altering crop yields, as well as examining variations between the three study sites by accounting for both geophysical and sociocultural differences.

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