Business as usual

The second step of the assessment is to select a reference point called business as usual. This is a hypothetical future situation, when no adaptation measures to mitigate negative impacts of CC, CV and SE stressors will be taken. Business as usual is characterized by the status of indicators showing the expected changes in the period 2070-2099 as compared to their status in the baseline period, i.e. 1961-1990. The adaptation strategies will be cross-compared to business as usual.

Under business as usual, the negative impacts of CC/CV and socio-economic stressors as compared to the baseline period can be outlined as follows. For the environment, the major threats are an increase of desert/wasteland, further deterioration of water quality and further drops in the outflow to Lake Aral. For agriculture, an overall increase of crop production is projected because of increasing yields under higher CO2 levels in atmosphere (Droogers and van Dam, 2004). Also, positive changes in the Length of the Growing Period (LGP) are projected. Although the SWAP model outputs suggest higher crop yields under scenario A2, it is assumed that the B2 scenario is more favourable for the overall crop production, since water availability remains the main constraint in agriculture production (more water availability is projected under B2). Meat and milk production are also expected to increase due

Table 5.9. Proposed indicators for the assessment of adaptation strategies for the Syr Darya Basin.

Measured Indicator in

Primarily affected by



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