Predicting Agricultural Impacts of Large-Scale Drought: 2012 and the Case for Better Modeling

8 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2013

See all articles by Joshua Elliott

Joshua Elliott

University of Chicago; Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP)

Michael Glotter

University of Chicago - Department of the Geophysical Sciences; Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP)

Neil Best

Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP); Computation Institute, University of Chicago

Kenneth Boote

University of Florida

James Jones

University of Florida

Jerry Hatfield

Government of the United States of America - Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Cynthia Rosenzweig

Columbia University; NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)

Lenny Smith

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Ian Foster

University of Chicago; Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP)

Date Written: February 21, 2013

Abstract

The 2012 growing season saw one of the worst droughts in a generation in much of the United States and cast a harsh light on the need for better analytic tools and a comprehensive approach to predicting and preparing for the effects of extreme weather on agriculture. We present an example of a simulation-based forecast for the 2012 US maize growing season produced as part of a high-resolution multi-scale predictive mechanistic modeling study designed for decision support, risk management, and counterfactual analysis. We estimate national average yields of 7.507 t/ha for 2012, 24.6% below the expected value based on increasing trend yield alone, with an interval based on resampled forecasts errors stretching from 5.586 to 8.967 t/ha. On average, the median yield simulations deviate from NASS observations by 8.3% from 1979 to 2011.

Keywords: crop yields, seasonal forecasting, global gridded crop models, agriculture, drought, decision support

Suggested Citation

Elliott, Joshua and Glotter, Michael and Best, Neil and Boote, Kenneth and Jones, James and Hatfield, Jerry and Rosenzweig, Cynthia and Smith, Leonard A. and Foster, Ian, Predicting Agricultural Impacts of Large-Scale Drought: 2012 and the Case for Better Modeling (February 21, 2013). RDCEP Working Paper No. 13-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2222269 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2222269

Joshua Elliott (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP) ( email )

5735 S. Ellis Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Michael Glotter

University of Chicago - Department of the Geophysical Sciences ( email )

5734 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP) ( email )

5735 S. Ellis Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Neil Best

Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP) ( email )

5735 S. Ellis Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Computation Institute, University of Chicago ( email )

5735 S Ellis Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
7738348912 (Phone)

Kenneth Boote

University of Florida ( email )

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

James Jones

University of Florida ( email )

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

Jerry Hatfield

Government of the United States of America - Agricultural Research Service (ARS) ( email )

Jamie L. Whitten Building
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
United States

Cynthia Rosenzweig

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) ( email )

2880 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
United States
212-678-5562 (Phone)

Leonard A. Smith

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Ian Foster

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP) ( email )

5735 S. Ellis Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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