Table 5.9. Key knowledge gaps and research priorities for food, fibre, forestry, and fisheries (FFFF).

Knowledge gap

Research priority

There is a lack of knowledge of CO2 response for many crops other than cereals, including many of importance to the rural poor, such as root crops, millet.

FACE-type experiments needed on expanded range of crops, pastures, forests and locations, especially in developing countries.

Understanding of the combined effects of elevated CO2 and climate change on pests, weeds and disease is insufficient.

Basic knowledge of pest, disease and weed response to elevated CO2 and climate change needed.

Much uncertainty of how changes in frequency and severity of Improved prediction of future impacts of climate change requires better extreme climate events with climate change will affect all sectors representation of climate variability at scales from the short-term (including remains. extreme events) to interannual and decadal in FFFF models.

Calls by the TAR to enhance crop model inter-comparison studies have remained largely unheeded.

Improvements and further evaluation of economic, trade and technological components within integrated assessment models are needed, including new global simulation studies that incorporate new crop, forestry and livestock knowledge in models.

Few experimental or field studies have investigated the impacts of future climate scenarios on aquatic biota.

Future trends in aquatic primary production depend on nutrient supply and on temperature sensitivity of primary production. Both of these could be improved with a relatively small research effort.

In spite of a decade of prioritisation, adaptation research has A more complete range of adaptation strategies must be examined in

In spite of a decade of prioritisation, adaptation research has A more complete range of adaptation strategies must be examined in failed to provide generalised knowledge of the adaptive capacity of FFFF systems across a range of climate and socio-economic futures, and across developed and developing countries (including commercial and small-holder operations).

modelling frameworks in FFFF. Accompanying research that estimates the costs of adaptation is needed. Assessments of how to move from potential adaptation options to adoption taking into account decision-making complexity, diversity at different scales and regions, non-linearities and time-lags in responses and biophysical, economic, institutional and cultural barriers to change are needed. Particular emphasis to developing countries should be given.

The global impacts of climate change on agriculture and food security will depend on the future role of agriculture in the global economy. While most studies available for the Fourth Assessment assume a rapidly declining role of agriculture in the overall generation of income, no consistent and comprehensive assessment was available.

Given the importance of this assumption, more research is needed to assess the future role of agriculture in overall income formation (and dependence of people on agriculture for income generation and food consumption) in essentially all developing countries; such an exercise could also afford an opportunity to review and critique the SRES scenarios.

Relatively moderate impacts of climate change on overall agro-ecological conditions are likely to mask much more severe climatic and economic vulnerability at the local level. Little is known about such vulnerability.

More research is required to identify highly vulnerable micro-environments and associated households and to provide agronomic and economic coping strategies for the affected populations.

The impact of climate change on utilisation of biofuel crops is not Research on biomass feed stock crops such as switchgrass and short-rotation well established. poplar is needed. Research is needed on the competition for land between bio-energy crops and food crops.

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