Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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    We will mail you new results for this query: keywords==Integrated assessment
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A protocol to develop Shared Socio-economic Pathways for European agriculture
Mitter, Hermine ; Techen, Anja K. ; Sinabell, Franz ; Helming, Katharina ; Kok, Kasper ; Priess, Jörg A. ; Schmid, Erwin ; Bodirsky, Benjamin L. ; Holman, Ian ; Lehtonen, Heikki ; Leip, Adrian ; Mouël, Chantal Le; Mathijs, Erik ; Mehdi, Bano ; Michetti, Melania ; Mittenzwei, Klaus ; Mora, Olivier ; Øygarden, Lillian ; Reidsma, Pytrik ; Schaldach, Rüdiger ; Schönhart, Martin - \ 2019
Journal of Environmental Management 252 (2019). - ISSN 0301-4797
Climate change - Consistent storylines - Eur-Agri-SSP - Integrated assessment - Narrative - Social environmental system

Moving towards a more sustainable future requires concerted actions, particularly in the context of global climate change. Integrated assessments of agricultural systems (IAAS) are considered valuable tools to provide sound information for policy and decision-making. IAAS use storylines to define socio-economic and environmental framework assumptions. While a set of qualitative global storylines, known as the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs), is available to inform integrated assessments at large scales, their spatial resolution and scope is insufficient for regional studies in agriculture. We present a protocol to operationalize the development of Shared Socio-economic Pathways for European agriculture – Eur-Agri-SSPs – to support IAAS. The proposed design of the storyline development process is based on six quality criteria: plausibility, vertical and horizontal consistency, salience, legitimacy, richness and creativity. Trade-offs between these criteria may occur. The process is science-driven and iterative to enhance plausibility and horizontal consistency. A nested approach is suggested to link storylines across scales while maintaining vertical consistency. Plausibility, legitimacy, salience, richness and creativity shall be stimulated in a participatory and interdisciplinary storyline development process. The quality criteria and process design requirements are combined in the protocol to increase conceptual and methodological transparency. The protocol specifies nine working steps. For each step, suitable methods are proposed and the intended level and format of stakeholder engagement are discussed. A key methodological challenge is to link global SSPs with regional perspectives provided by the stakeholders, while maintaining vertical consistency and stakeholder buy-in. We conclude that the protocol facilitates systematic development and evaluation of storylines, which can be transferred to other regions, sectors and scales and supports inter-comparisons of IAAS.

Can yield variability be explained? Integrated assessment of maize yield gaps across smallholders in Ghana
Loon, Marloes P. van; Adjei-Nsiah, Samuel ; Descheemaeker, Katrien ; Akotsen-Mensah, Clement ; Dijk, Michiel van; Morley, Tom ; Ittersum, Martin K. van; Reidsma, Pytrik - \ 2019
Field Crops Research 236 (2019). - ISSN 0378-4290 - p. 132 - 144.
Crop experiments - Crop modelling - Farm household survey - Integrated assessment - Smallholder farms - Yield gaps - Yield potential

Agricultural production in Ghana should more than double to fulfil the estimated food demand in 2050, but this is a challenge as the productivity of food crops has been low, extremely variable and prone to stagnation. Yield gap estimations and explanations can help to identify the potential for intensification on existing agricultural land. However, to date most yield gap analyses had a disciplinary focus. The objective of this paper is to assess the impact of crop management, soil and household factors on maize (Zea mays) yields in two major maize growing regions in Ghana through an integrated approach. We applied a variety of complementary methods to study sites in the Brong Ahafo and Northern region. Farm household surveys, yield measurements and soil sampling were undertaken in 2015 and 2016. Water-limited potential yield (Y w ) was estimated with a crop growth simulation model, and two different on-farm demonstration experiments were carried out in 2016 and 2017. There is great potential to increase maize yields across the study sites. Estimated yield gaps ranged between 3.8 Mg ha −1 (67% of Y w ) and 13.6 Mg ha −1 (84% of Y w ). However, there was no consistency in factors affecting maize yield and yield gaps when using complementary methods. Demonstration experiments showed the potential of improved varieties, fertilizers and improved planting densities, with yields up to 9 Mg ha −1 . This was not confirmed in the analysis of the household surveys, as the large yield variation across years on the same farms impeded the disclosure of effects of management, soil and household factors. The low-input nature of the farming system and the incidence of fall armyworm led to relatively uniform and low yields across the entire population. So, farmers’ yields were determined by interacting, and strongly varying, household, soil and management factors. We found that for highly variable and complex smallholder farming systems there is a danger in drawing oversimplified conclusions based on results from a single methodological approach. Integrating household surveys, crop growth simulation modelling and demonstration experiments can add value to yield gap analysis. However, the challenge remains to improve upon this type of integrated assessment to be able to satisfactorily disentangle the interacting factors that can be managed by farmers in order to increase crop yields.

Short term policies to keep the door open for Paris climate goals
Kriegler, Elmar ; Bertram, Christoph ; Kuramochi, Takeshi ; Jakob, Michael ; Pehl, Michaja ; Stevanović, Miodrag ; Höhne, Niklas ; Luderer, Gunnar ; Minx, Jan C. ; Fekete, Hanna ; Hilaire, Jérôme ; Luna, Lisa ; Popp, Alexander ; Steckel, Jan Christoph ; Sterl, Sebastian ; Yalew, Amsalu Woldie ; Dietrich, Jan Philipp ; Edenhofer, Ottmar - \ 2018
Environmental Research Letters 13 (2018)7. - ISSN 1748-9318
1.5C - 2C temperature limits - Carbon pricing - Integrated assessment - Mitigation pathway - Paris Agreement - Political implementability - Regulatory policies

Climate policy needs to account for political and social acceptance. Current national climate policy plans proposed under the Paris Agreement lead to higher emissions until 2030 than cost-effective pathways towards the Agreements' long-term temperature goals would imply. Therefore, the current plans would require highly disruptive changes, prohibitive transition speeds, and large long-term deployment of risky mitigation measures for achieving the agreement's temperature goals after 2030. Since the prospects of introducing the cost-effective policy instrument, a global comprehensive carbon price in the near-term, are negligible, we study how a strengthening of existing plans by a global roll-out of regional policies can ease the implementation challenge of reaching the Paris temperature goals. The regional policies comprise a bundle of regulatory policies in energy supply, transport, buildings, industry, and land use and moderate, regionally differentiated carbon pricing. We find that a global roll-out of these policies could reduce global CO2 emissions by an additional 10 GtCO2eq in 2030 compared to current plans. It would lead to emissions pathways close to the levels of cost-effective likely below 2C scenarios until 2030, thereby reducing implementation challenges post 2030. Even though a gradual phase-in of a portfolio of regulatory policies might be less disruptive than immediate cost-effective carbon pricing, it would perform worse in other dimensions. In particular, it leads to higher economic impacts that could become major obstacles in the long-term. Hence, such policy packages should not be viewed as alternatives to carbon pricing, but rather as complements that provide entry points to achieve the Paris climate goals.

Intensification of rice-based farming systems in Central Luzon, Philippines : Constraints at field, farm and regional levels
Silva, João Vasco ; Reidsma, Pytrik ; Lourdes Velasco, Ma ; Laborte, Alice G. ; Ittersum, Martin K. van - \ 2018
Agricultural Systems 165 (2018). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 55 - 70.
Crop management - Farm structural change - Farmers’ objectives - Integrated assessment - Sustainable intensification - Yield gap

Understanding the opportunities for sustainable intensification requires an integrated assessment at field, farm and regional levels of past developments. Two hypotheses regarding current rice production in Central Luzon (Philippines) were developed for this purpose. First, we hypothesize that there are trade-offs between rice yields, labour productivity, gross margin and N use efficiency and, second, that farm(er) characteristics and socio-economic conditions at farm and regional level affect the management practices used by farmers. These hypotheses were tested using two household surveys characterizing rice-based farming systems in Central Luzon in terms of changes over time (1966–2012) and spatial variability. Over the past half-century there was an increase in the proportion of irrigated fields and adoption of improved varieties, which allowed the cultivation of a dry season rice crop in Central Luzon. Moreover, transplanting has been replaced by direct-seeding and herbicides substituted hand-weeding. These resulted in greater rice yields and labour productivity, and contributed to gradual transition from subsistence to commercial farming systems, as observed in the increasing proportion of hired labour and rice sold. Our results indicate the existence of a trade-off between rice yields, labour productivity and N use efficiency as yield levels maximising labour productivity and N use efficiency were ca. 25% and 35% lower than climatic potential yield in the wet and dry season, respectively. At field level, this can be explained by 1) the use of transplanting as crop establishment method, which resulted into higher yields but lower labour productivity as compared to direct-seeding, and 2) the high N application levels, which led to higher yields but lower N use efficiency. In contrast, yield levels which maximised gross margin were ca. 80% of the climatic potential in both wet and dry seasons, so there was little trade-off between rice yields and economic performance. Regarding the second hypothesis results were not always conclusive. As an example, N application per ha was negatively associated with farm size and the timing of the first fertiliser application positively associated with household size and with the number of parcels. More intensive practices, and better farm performance, were recorded in the province at the heart of the irrigation system. We thus conclude that closing rice yield gaps in the production systems of Central Luzon incurs trade-offs with environmental and social objectives at field and farm levels but less with economic objectives. However, we could not clearly show whether, and to what extent, management practices used by farmers are influenced by farm or regional level constraints.

Exploring SSP land-use dynamics using the IMAGE model : Regional and gridded scenarios of land-use change and land-based climate change mitigation
Doelman, Jonathan C. ; Stehfest, Elke ; Tabeau, Andrzej ; Meijl, Hans van; Lassaletta, Luis ; Gernaat, David E.H.J. ; Neumann-Hermans, Kathleen ; Harmsen, Mathijs ; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Biemans, Hester ; Sluis, Sietske van der; Vuuren, Detlef P. van - \ 2018
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 48 (2018). - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 119 - 135.
Bioenergy - Climate change mitigation - Integrated assessment - Land-use change - REDD - Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs)
Projected increases in population, income and consumption rates are expected to lead to rising pressure on the land system. Ambitions to limit global warming to 2 °C or even 1.5 °C could also lead to additional pressures from land-based mitigation measures such as bioenergy production and afforestation. To investigate these dynamics, this paper describes five elaborations of the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP) using the IMAGE 3.0 integrated assessment model framework to produce regional and gridded scenarios up to the year 2100. Additionally, land-based climate change mitigation is modelled aiming for long-term mitigation targets including 1.5 °C. Results show diverging global trends in agricultural land in the baseline scenarios ranging from an expansion of nearly 826 Mha in SSP3 to a decrease of more than 305 Mha in SSP1 for the period 2010–2050. Key drivers are population growth, changes in food consumption, and agricultural efficiency. The largest changes take place in Sub-Saharan Africa in SSP3 and SSP4, predominantly due to high population growth. With low increases in agricultural efficiency this leads to expansion of agricultural land and reduced food security. Land use also plays a crucial role in ambitious mitigation scenarios. First, agricultural emissions could form a substantial component of emissions that cannot be fully mitigated. Second, bioenergy and reforestation are crucial to create net negative emissions reducing emissions in SSP2 in 2050 by 8.7 Gt CO2/yr and 1.9 Gt CO2/yr, respectively (1.5 °C scenario compared to baseline). This is achieved by expansion of bioenergy area (516 Mha in 2050) and reforestation. Expansion of agriculture for food production is reduced due to REDD policy (290 Mha in 2050) affecting food security especially in Sub-Saharan Africa indicating an important trade-off of land-based mitigation. This set of SSP land-use scenarios provides a comprehensive quantification of interacting trends in the land system, both socio-economic and biophysical. By providing high resolution data, the scenario output can improve interactions between climate research and impact studies.
On the development and use of farm models for policy impact assessment in the European Union – A review
Reidsma, Pytrik ; Janssen, Sander ; Jansen, Jacques ; Ittersum, Martin K. van - \ 2018
Agricultural Systems 159 (2018). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 111 - 125.
Agent-based model - Bio-economic farm model - Integrated assessment - Mathematical programming - Policy analysis - Science-policy interaction
Farm models are potentially relevant tools for policy impact assessment. Governments and international organizations use impact assessment (IA) as an ex-ante policy process and procedure to evaluate impacts of policy options as part of the introduction of new policies. IA is increasingly used. This paper reviews both the use of farm models in such policy IAs in the European Commission, and the development and use of farm models for policy IA by the scientific community over the past decade. A systematic review was performed, based on 202 studies from the period 2007–2015 and results were discussed in a science-policy workshop. Based on the literature review and the workshop, this paper describes progress in the development of farm models, challenges in their use in policy processes and a research and cooperation agenda. We conclude that main issues for a research agenda include: 1) better understanding of farmer decision-making and effects of the social milieu, with increased focus on the interactions between farmers and other actors, the link to the value chain, and farm structural change; 2) thorough and consistent model evaluation and model comparison, with increased attention for model sensitivity and uncertainty, and 3) the organization of a network of farm modellers. In addition, the agenda for science-policy cooperation emphasizes the need for: 4) synthesizing research evidence into systematic reviews as an institutional element in the existing science-policy-interfaces for agricultural systems, 5) improved and timely data collection, allowing to assess heterogeneity in farm objectives, management and indicators, and 6) stronger science-policy interaction, moving from a research-driven to a user-driven approach.
Energy, land-use and greenhouse gas emissions trajectories under a green growth paradigm
Vuuren, Detlef P. van; Stehfest, Elke ; Gernaat, David E.H.J. ; Doelman, Jonathan C. ; Berg, Maarten van den; Harmsen, Mathijs ; Boer, Harmen Sytze de; Bouwman, Lex F. ; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Edelenbosch, Oreane Y. ; Girod, Bastien ; Kram, Tom ; Lassaletta, Luis ; Lucas, Paul L. ; Meijl, Hans van; Müller, Christoph ; Ruijven, Bas J. van; Sluis, Sietske van der; Tabeau, Andrzej - \ 2017
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 42 (2017). - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 237 - 250.
Climate change research - Integrated assessment - Scenarios - Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs) - Sustainable development

This paper describes the possible developments in global energy use and production, land use, emissions and climate changes following the SSP1 storyline, a development consistent with the green growth (or sustainable development) paradigm (a more inclusive development respecting environmental boundaries). The results are based on the implementation using the IMAGE 3.0 integrated assessment model and are compared with a) other IMAGE implementations of the SSPs (SSP2 and SSP3) and b) the SSP1 implementation of other integrated assessment models. The results show that a combination of resource efficiency, preferences for sustainable production methods and investment in human development could lead to a strong transition towards a more renewable energy supply, less land use and lower anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in 2100 than in 2010, even in the absence of explicit climate policies. At the same time, climate policy would still be needed to reduce emissions further, in order to reduce the projected increase of global mean temperature from 3 °C (SSP1 reference scenario) to 2 or 1.5 °C (in line with current policy targets). The SSP1 storyline could be a basis for further discussions on how climate policy can be combined with achieving other societal goals.

Climate change impacts on crop yields, land use and environment in response to crop sowing dates and thermal time requirements
Zimmermann, Andrea ; Webber, Heidi ; Zhao, Gang ; Ewert, Frank ; Kros, Hans ; Wolf, Joost ; Britz, Wolfgang ; Vries, Wim de - \ 2017
Agricultural Systems 157 (2017). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 81 - 92.
Climate change - Crop management - Europe - Integrated assessment
Impacts of climate change on European agricultural production, land use and the environment depend on its impact on crop yields. However, many impact studies assume that crop management remains unchanged in future scenarios, while farmers may adapt their sowing dates and cultivar thermal time requirements to minimize yield losses or realize yield gains. The main objective of this study was to investigate the sensitivity of climate change impacts on European crop yields, land use, production and environmental variables to adaptations in crops sowing dates and varieties' thermal time requirements. A crop, economic and environmental model were coupled in an integrated assessment modelling approach for six important crops, for 27 countries of the European Union (EU27) to assess results of three SRES climate change scenarios to 2050. Crop yields under climate change were simulated considering three different management cases; (i) no change in crop management from baseline conditions (NoAd), (ii) adaptation of sowing date and thermal time requirements to give highest yields to 2050 (Opt) and (iii) a more conservative adaptation of sowing date and thermal time requirements (Act). Averaged across EU27, relative changes in water-limited crop yields due to climate change and increased CO2 varied between − 6 and + 21% considering NoAd management, whereas impacts with Opt management varied between + 12 and + 53%, and those under Act management between − 2 and + 27%. However, relative yield increases under climate change increased to + 17 and + 51% when technology progress was also considered. Importantly, the sensitivity to crop management assumptions of land use, production and environmental impacts were less pronounced than for crop yields due to the influence of corresponding market, farm resource and land allocation adjustments along the model chain acting via economic optimization of yields. We conclude that assumptions about crop sowing dates and thermal time requirements affect impact variables but to a different extent and generally decreasing for variables affected by economic drivers.
Land-use futures in the shared socio-economic pathways
Popp, Alexander ; Calvin, Katherine ; Fujimori, Shinichiro ; Havlik, Petr ; Humpenöder, Florian ; Stehfest, Elke ; Bodirsky, Benjamin Leon ; Dietrich, Jan Philipp ; Doelmann, Jonathan C. ; Tabeau, Andrzej - \ 2017
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 42 (2017). - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 331 - 345.
Emissions - Food prices - Integrated assessment - Land use - Mitigation - Scenarios - SSP

In the future, the land system will be facing new intersecting challenges. While food demand, especially for resource-intensive livestock based commodities, is expected to increase, the terrestrial system has large potentials for climate change mitigation through improved agricultural management, providing biomass for bioenergy, and conserving or even enhancing carbon stocks of ecosystems. However, uncertainties in future socio-economic land use drivers may result in very different land-use dynamics and consequences for land-based ecosystem services. This is the first study with a systematic interpretation of the Shared Socio-Economic Pathways (SSPs) in terms of possible land-use changes and their consequences for the agricultural system, food provision and prices as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, five alternative Integrated Assessment Models with distinctive land-use modules have been used for the translation of the SSP narratives into quantitative projections. The model results reflect the general storylines of the SSPs and indicate a broad range of potential land-use futures with global agricultural land of 4900 mio ha in 2005 decreasing by 810 mio ha until 2100 at the lower (SSP1) and increasing by 1080 mio ha (SSP3) at the upper end. Greenhouse gas emissions from land use and land use change, as a direct outcome of these diverse land-use dynamics, and agricultural production systems differ strongly across SSPs (e.g. cumulative land use change emissions between 2005 and 2100 range from -54 to 402 Gt CO2). The inclusion of land-based mitigation efforts, particularly those in the most ambitious mitigation scenarios, further broadens the range of potential land futures and can strongly affect greenhouse gas dynamics and food prices. In general, it can be concluded that low demand for agricultural commodities, rapid growth in agricultural productivity and globalized trade, all most pronounced in a SSP1 world, have the potential to enhance the extent of natural ecosystems, lead to lowest greenhouse gas emissions from the land system and decrease food prices over time. The SSP-based land use pathways presented in this paper aim at supporting future climate research and provide the basis for further regional integrated assessments, biodiversity research and climate impact analysis.

Exploring resource efficiency for energy, land and phosphorus use : Implications for resource scarcity and the global environment
Berg, Maurits van den; Hermans, Kathleen ; Vuuren, Detlef P. van; Bouwman, A.F. ; Kram, Tom ; Bakkes, Jan - \ 2016
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 36 (2016). - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 21 - 34.
Biodiversity - Climate policy - Integrated assessment - Resource depletion - Resource efficiency scenarios

In this paper, we present four model-based scenarios exploring the potential for resource efficiency for energy, land and phosphorus use, and implications for resource depletion, climate change and biodiversity. The scenarios explored include technological improvements as well as structural changes in production systems and lifestyle changes. Many of such changes have long lead times, requiring up front and timely investments in infrastructure, innovative incentive structures and education. For simulating the scenarios we applied the IMAGE modelling framework, with a time horizon until 2050.Our findings confirm a large potential for more efficient resource use: our (no new policies) baseline scenario shows a global increase, between 2010 and 2050, by 80% of primary energy use, 4% of arable land and 40% of phosphorus fertilisers. These numbers are reduced to +25% (primary energy), -9% (arable land) and +9% (phosphorus) in the global resource efficiency scenario. Baseline developments and resource efficiency opportunities vary strikingly among regions, resources and sectors. Phosphorus use, for example, is expected to increase most on croplands in developing countries, whereas the largest potential for phosphorus use efficiency lies in the livestock sector and urban sewage treatment in industrialised countries. Consequently, while resource efficiency resonates well as a general notion in policy thinking, concrete policies need to be region-specific, resource-specific and sector-specific.Efficiency efforts on one resource tend to contribute to efficient use of other resources and to benefit the environment. There are also trade-offs, however, and the synergies analysed do not make problem-specific policies redundant: in 2050, the global resource efficiency scenario presents higher phosphorus use and higher use of fossil fuels than in 2010; greenhouse gas emission targets are met by half; and biodiversity loss slows down but is not halted. Moreover, part of the efficiency gains in land and phosphorus use is sacrificed when this scenario is combined with ambitious climate policy, due to the substantial resource requirements for the deployment of bio-energy-albeit much less than in a scenario without more efficient resource use.

Pathways to achieve a set of ambitious global sustainability objectives by 2050 : Explorations using the IMAGE integrated assessment model
Vuuren, D.P. van; Kok, Marcel ; Lucas, P.L. ; Prins, Anne Gerdien ; Alkemade, Rob ; Berg, Maurits van den; Bouwman, Lex ; Esch, Stefan van der; Jeuken, Michel ; Kram, Tom ; Stehfest, Elke - \ 2015
Technological Forecasting and Social Change 98 (2015). - ISSN 0040-1625 - p. 303 - 323.
Global change - Integrated assessment - Modelling - Sustainable development

In 2012, governments worldwide renewed their commitments to a more sustainable development that would eradicate poverty, halt climate change and conserve ecosystems, and initiated a process to create a long-term vision by formulating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Although progress in achieving a more sustainable development has been made in some areas, overall, actions have not been able to bend the trend in critical areas (including those related to the so-called food-water-energy nexus). Here, we analyze how different combinations of technological measures and behavioral changes could contribute to achieving a set of sustainability objectives, taking into account the interlinkages between them. The objectives include eradicating hunger, providing universal access to modern energy, preventing dangerous climate change, conserving biodiversity and controlling air pollution. The analysis identifies different pathways that achieve these objectives simultaneously, but they all require substantial transformations in the energy and food systems, that go far beyond historic progress and currently formulated policies. The analysis also shows synergies and trade-offs between achieving the different objectives, concluding that achieving them requires a comprehensive approach. The scenario analysis does not point at a fundamental trade-off between the objectives related to poverty eradication and those related to environmental sustainability. The different pathways of achieving the set of long-term objectives and their implications for short-term action can contribute to building a comprehensive strategy to meet the SDGs by proposing near-term actions.

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