Climate Adaptation Modelling

Fig. 16.1 from Maire et al. (2022): LandSyMM structural overview. The focus of the schematic is on the cross-scale interactions between models (PLUMv2, LPJ-GUESS, IMOGEN, MAIDADS) and the embodied interactions between the country- and world-level calculations for each time step of the model.


Climate change, growing populations and economic shocks are adding pressure on the global agricultural system’s ability to feed the world. In addition to curbing the emissions from fossil fuel use, land-based actions are seen as essential in the effort to mitigate climate change, but these tend to reduce areas available for food production, thereby further increasing this pressure. The actors of the food system have the capacity to respond and adapt to changes in climate, and thereby reduce the negative consequences, while potentially creating additional challenges, including further greenhouse gas emissions. The food system actors may respond autonomously based on economic drivers and other factors to adapt to climate change, whereas policy measures are usually needed for mitigation actions to be implemented. Much research and policy focus has been given to land-based climate change mitigation, but far less emphasis has to date been given to the understanding of adaptation, or the interaction between adaptation and mitigation in the land use and food system. Here, we present an approach to better understand and plan these interactions through modelling. Climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies and the impacts on the global food system and socio-economic development can be simulated over long-term predictions, thanks to the new combination of multiple models into the Land System Modular Model (LandSyMM). LandSyMM takes into account the impacts in changes in climate (i.e. temperature, precipitation, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations) and land management on crop yields with its implications for land allocation, food security and trade. This new coupled model integrates, over fine spatial scale, the interactions between commodities consumption, land use management, vegetation and climate into a worldwide dynamic economic system. This study offers an outline description of the LandSyMM as well as the perspectives of uses for climate adaptation assessment.