Food and basic necessities are met before culture and other aspects. Thinking among environmentalists is that if agriculture intensifies in a particular region, it would have an impact on the water sector due to irrigation use, meaning less water for domestic, industrial or environmental needs. Knowing that, they believe that by setting variables such as temperature, rainfall or irrigation’s efficiency, it is possible to predict how maize yields will be affected by these changes and have created a new projection tool.
The EU CLIMSAVE integrated assessment platform is available for environmental agencies, policy-makers and higher education students and the creators say it allows them to explore adaptation strategies for reducing climate change vulnerability and also provide an early warning about the types of crop yields likely to be in difficulty and assess the most profitable crops across Europe.
They say the tool can be applied to sectors such as agriculture, forestry, biodiversity assessment, coastal surveillance, water resources management and urban development and features climate, social, technological, economic and policy drivers, which can be changed over a period of time stretching to 2020 and up to 2050. The results are displayed in different screens, each covering the impact, adaptation, vulnerability and cost-effectiveness of these changes. According to its designers, the tool is a quick and easy instrument and can be used without a lot of training.
They believe the main advantage is that it shows the co-sectoral effects in much greater detail then previous studies. It also allows the identification of the areas of Europe most vulnerable to climate change and least able to adapt to it. For example, “the cost effectiveness screen will list all the specific measures that could be implemented and will rank them in the order of cost-effectiveness,” Paula Harrison, project coordinator and a senior research scientist at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment, UK, told youris.com.
“In comparison to other tools that try to perform similar functions, it does offer more possibilities, more fine degree analysis,” says Anne Hammill, program leader on Adaptation and Risk Reduction at the Geneva office of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, a public policy research institute based in Canada. She believes that there is a lot of potential in the model, by providing such a large amount of information but does not believe it is that user-friendly, for someone not very familiar with the topic. She thinks the tool needs an adjustable guidance to go along with. “To expect people to just come to the website and play with it, and use it, and understand it at short order is probably a too big assumption,” she told youris.com.
Elena Mateescu, executive director at the National Meteorological Administration in Bucharest, Romania, sees the tool as an “opening” in this field, given its complexity. In her opinion, the model is useful for the specialists, as it allows them to go easily to a specific area of expertise. “It is a professional tool for the specialists who know how to apply a model, how to validate the input data, and especially the output data and who are aware of the international regulations in the field, as well” she concludes.