FACCE-JPI Knowledge Hub: Overall Coordination

Lead Research Organisation: University of Reading
Department Name: Sch of Agriculture Policy and Dev


FACCE MACSUR focuses on modelling European agriculture with climate change for food security. The work is organized in three themes on crop, livestock and trade modelling. The partnership consists of 73 partners from 16 countries all over Europe. The overarching challenge is to develop a pan-European capability in the development, use and interpretation of models to perform risk assessments of the impacts of climate change on European agriculture. To address this the following challenges must be met:
1. Identify and address a range of issues between models in different themes to enable their closer integration including issues of scale and data processing.
2. Train a new generation of scientists to work across models which contribute to greater integration of models. This challenge can be described as focusing on the creation of integrated modellers as opposed to integrated models.
3. Determine the contribution that can be made to reducing uncertainty over the impacts of climate change on European food security by adopting integrated models of crop production, animal production and trade.

Technical Summary

Tiffin will lead WP1 of the overall co-ordination module. This work package will focus on establishing and coordinating the link across the three themes of FACCE-MACSUR to facilitate model and data improvements. This overarching WP combines the methodological improvements of tools achieved in WP6 of CropM, WP4 of LiveM and TradeM. A key component of this will be the sharing of best practice amongst the different modelling teams both within and between the themes of the project. This is expected to lead to a strengthening of less experienced groups and a strategic approach to capacity building within the partnership. This WP prepares for overall WP2 'Hot Spot analysis'. The backbone of WP1 will be the selected partial case studies which will provide the opportunity to couple crop, livestock and/or trade models. These case studies will be selected in association with the theme (Crop, Trade and Livestock) leaders in order to consider a range of interlinking isssues whilst at the same time providing the opportunity to deliver outputs which have real value in a policy environment. The work packages emphasises the coordination of the efforts focussed on decision making in relation to climate change climate variability and extreme events.
D 1.1: Review of the opportunities for using cloud computing to develop the potential for model intercomparison and interlinkage in MACSUR (month 12)
D 1.2: Review of models at different regional scales for the EU, and the methods commonly used when modelling outcomes of the implementation of climate change mitigation polices for models applied in the area of crop and livestock production as well as in economic models (month 16).
D 1.3: Review of upscaling methodologies and European sources of data available to characterize the structure of farming systems at the regional scale (month 24)
D 1.4: Report on model integration approaches for the assessment of climate change effects.

Planned Impact

Considerable uncertainty surrounds the impacts of climate change on European Agriculture. This uncertainty stems from a number of sources including the models used to simulate agriculture together with uncertainty over the climate change impacts. The improved quatification of these uncertainties which this project will provide will allow policy makers to better identify the range of measures that can be taen to adapt to and mitigate climate impacts. The projct also seeks to explore the ways in which crop, livestock and trade models can be integrated to deliver a better understanding of the inter-sectoral linkages that exist in adaptation and mitigation strategies. This will reduce the scope for unforeseen circumstances nullifying the impacts of within sector strategies. The project is therefore of direct relevance to policy makers and the producers and users of food in the European Union. It has very high profile and is certain to attract considerable interest from these communities as it progresses.


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Description Overall, in its first phase the MACSUR knowledge hub achieved significant scientific
advancement in modelling agriculture with climate change and development of a research
agenda for improving existing models and working on new models. Beyond the science, the
knowledge hub created a trans-disciplinary awareness of who is active in the area of
climate change impacts on agriculture and contributed to more integrated viewing of
climate change impacts on agriculture across disciplines and scales. It facilitated the
exchange of ideas, concepts, and theories between researchers across disciplines and
contributed to the understanding of data and model demands of specialized thematic
models. As a result, researchers and stakeholders obtained a greater awareness of the
broader implications of climate change and policies in agriculture by including constraints
and buffer mechanisms from socio-economy. The establishment of a network in Europe
that is on par with other international networks created synergies among research in the
participating countries and highlighted the European capacity in contributing to global
food security by policies based on science.
The work achieved in the first three years of MACSUR laid the foundation for the next two
years of the knowledge hub. In the coming phase (2015-2017), we intend to emphasize
cross-disciplinary scientific activities and make use of more case studies and step up
engagement with stakeholders within the constraints of the available budget. This will
contribute to the development of a research community in agricultural modelling that is
more integrated and able to face future challenges, to the production of strategic reviews
that shape the research agenda for agricultural modelling under climate change, the
delivery of an assessment of CC impacts on European agriculture based on integrated
models at EU level, and to a report on the outcomes of regional assessments based on case
studies to be presented in 2017.
Ensemble model results are best put to use by coordinated cycles of model improvement
and projection for improving overall projections (Challinor et al., 2014). This improvement
and communication with stakeholders will be the task of the MACSUR knowledge hub
beyond 2017. Therefore, the project leadership team is already now preparing a vision for
the implementation of MACSUR after the second phase and invites the FACCE Governing
Board to continue its eminent role as interpreter of research in climate-smart agriculture
for national governments.
Exploitation Route Please see follow-on award FACCE-JPI Knowledge Hub: MACSUR-Partner 154
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

Description Advisor GFS Food Security and Extreme Events Task Force
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Briefing document and media coverage raised awareness of importance of extreme climatic events for agriculture
Description Advisor GFS Food System Resilience Programme
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Supported the development of policies to deal with impacts of extreme weather events on agriculture
Description Reviewer BBSRC Food Systems Resilience call
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Description Partcipation in Global Food Security programme's extreme events task-force 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A programme of work involving international collaboration has begun to investigate the impacts of extreme weather events on the food system.

New collaborations have been formed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
Description Participation in Food Research Partnership working group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The report we wrote on extreme weather events and the food system has gone to government and is available in the public domain.

The report has informed subsequent work in Defra.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013