Uncertainty in land-use adaptation persists despite crop model projections showing lower impacts under high warming

Edna J. Molina Bacca, Miodrag Stevanović, Benjamin Leon Bodirsky, Kristine Karstens, David Meng Chuen Chen, Debbora Leip, Christoph Müller, Sara Minoli, Jens Heinke, Jonas Jägermeyr, Christian Folberth, Toshichika Iizumi, Atul K. Jain, Wenfeng Liu, Masashi Okada, Andrew Smerald, Florian Zabel, Hermann Lotze-Campen, Alexander Popp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Climate change is expected to impact crop yields and alter resource availability. However, the understanding of the potential of agricultural land-use adaptation and its costs under climate warming is limited. Here, we use a global land system model to assess land-use-based adaptation and its cost under a set of crop model projections, including CO2 fertilization, based on climate model outputs. In our simulations of a low-emissions scenario, the land system responds through slight changes in cropland area in 2100, with costs close to zero. For a high emissions scenario and impacts uncertainty, the response tends toward cropland area changes and investments in technology, with average adaptation costs between −1.5 and +19 US$05 per ton of dry matter per year. Land-use adaptation can reduce adverse climate effects and use favorable changes, like local gains in crop yields. However, variance among high-emissions impact projections creates challenges for effective adaptation planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number284
JournalCommunications Earth and Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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