Understanding the impacts of extreme events (XC8)

There is little effort directed at modelling the impacts of extreme weather events on the agrifood system. This may in part be because the interactions between climate extremes and the agrifood system are complex and understanding the significance of short term weather variability for society as a whole is still limited. The impacts will depend on (i) the effects of climate variability and extremes on primary production, be that crop or livestock, and (ii) on the way human actors and the food system respond by adapting to current and future climate risks. The food system has a degree of resilience: it is able to recover and deliver the demands of society within a reasonable period of time. The capacity for such adjustment is at present poorly understood however.

The impact of a loss in productivity on prices requires both crop, livestock and economic modelling. The impact on international trade requires information from climate modelling to understand patterns of possible spatial correlations in weather events and their severity.

The focus of this activity is therefore on building capacity and understanding of approaches to conducting impact assessments for extreme events. The goal will be to develop a number of meaningful scenarios which can illustrate the way in which the food system will respond to an event. This will help to inform where modelling is needed to improve our understanding. It will link to and draw on the modelling in activity C1.2 »Implementation of extreme events in crop models«.

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