Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

What can scenario modelling tell us about future European scale agricultural land use, and what not?

By Eric Audsley, Kerry R. Pearn, C. Simota, G. Cojocaru, E. Koutsidou, M. D. A. Rounsevell, M. Trnka and V. Alexandrov


Given scenarios describing future climates and socio-techno-economics, this study estimates the consequences for agricultural land use, combining models of crop growth and farm decision making to predict profitability over the whole of Europe, driven solely by soil and climate at each location. Each location is then classified by its profitability as intensive or extensive agriculture or not suitable for agriculture. The main effects of both climate and socio- economics were in the agriculturally marginal areas of Europe. The results showed the effect of different climates is relatively small, whereas there are large variations when economic scenarios are included. Only Finland's agricultural area significantly responds to climate by increasing at the expense of forests in several scenarios. Several locations show more difference due to climate model (PCM versus HadCM3) than emission scenario, because of large differences in predicted precipitation, notably the Ardennes switching to arable in HadCM3. Scenario modelling has identified several such regions where there is a need to be watchful, but few where all of the scenario results agree, suggesting great uncertainty in future projections. Thus, it has not been possible to predict any futures, though all results agree that in Central Europe, changes are likely to be relatively small

Topics: Climate change, Agricultural land use, Scenarios, Crop model, Farm decision model
Publisher: Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam.
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.envsci.2005.11.008
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

Suggested articles


  1. (2004). A comprehensive set of high-resolution grids of monthly climate for Europe and the globe: the observed record (1901-2000) and 16 scenarios (2001-2100). Working Paper,
  2. (1998). A conceptual approach to dynamic agricultural land-use modelling. doi
  3. (1972). A model for predicting evaporation from a row crop with incomplete cover. doi
  4. (2002). Agricultural land use and farm size: The case of Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Internal working document in ACCELERATES,
  5. (2002). Agriculture of the South Moravian District 1990-2001,
  6. (1996). Agro-climatic change and european soil suitability: regional modelling at monthly time-steps.
  7. An Agricultural Information System for the European Community -financed by the Pilot project for Remote sensing applied to Agriculture Statistics. Institute for Remote Sensing Applications,
  8. (2000). Are agricultural land use models able to predict changes in land use intensity?’. doi
  9. (2001). Bonitace a oceòování zemìdìlské pùdy Èeské republiky.
  10. (2003). Development and allocation of land-use scenarios in agriculture for hydrological impact studies. doi
  11. (1987). ERHYM-II: Model description and user guide for the BASIC version.
  12. (2005). Future environmental change impacts on rural land use and biological resources: a synthesis of the ACCELERATES project. doi
  13. (1957). Instructions and tables for computing potential evapotranspiration and water balance. Drexel Institute of Technology.
  14. (2005). Modelling climate change impacts on species’ distributions at the European scale: Implications for conservation policy. This volume. doi
  15. (1998). Modelling farmer behaviour: a personal construct theory interpretation of heirarchical decision models. doi
  16. (2004). Modelling land use change and environmental impact. doi
  17. (1999). Modelling multiple objectives of land use for sustainable development. doi
  18. (2002). Multiple objective linear programming for environmental farm planning. doi
  19. (1998). Overview of Sunflower Hybrids, State Institute for Agriculture Supervision and Testing,
  20. (2001). REGIO database. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities,
  21. (2005). Socio-economic scenario development for the assessment of climate change impacts on agricultural land use (this volume). doi
  22. (2000). Special report on emissions scenarios. doi
  23. (1998). Testing winter wheat simulation model predictions against observed UK grain yields. doi
  24. (1996). The likely effects of climate change on agricultural land use in England and Wales. doi
  25. (1989). USDA-Wter erosion prediction project: hillslope profile documentation.
  26. (2000). Validation of the European Forest Information Scenario Model (EFISCEN) and a projection of Finnish forests. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.