Socio-economic scenario development for the assessment of climate change impacts on agricultural land use: a pairwise comparison approach

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  • Jens Abildtrup
  • E. Audsley
  • M. Fekete-Farkas
  • C. Giupponi
  • Gylling, Morten
  • P. Rosato
  • M. Rounsevell
Assessment of the vulnerability of agriculture to climate change is strongly dependent on concurrent changes in socio-economic development pathways. This paper presents an integrated approach to the construction of socio-economic scenarios required for the analysis of climate change impacts on European agricultural land use. The scenarios are interpreted from the storylines described in the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) special report on emission scenarios (SRES), which ensures internal consistency between the evolution of socio-economics and climate change. A stepwise downscaling procedure based on expert-judgement and pairwise comparison is presented to obtain quantitative socio-economic parameters, e.g. prices and productivity estimates that are input to the ACCELERATES integrated land use model. In the first step, the global driving forces are identified and quantified for each of the four SRES scenario families. In the second step, European agricultural driving forces are derived for each scenario from global driving forces. Finally, parameters for the agricultural land use model are quantified. The stepwise procedure is appropriate when developing socio-economic scenarios that are consistent with climate change scenarios used in climate impact studies. Furthermore, the pairwise comparison approach developed by Saaty [Saaty, T.L., 1980. The Analytic Hierarchy Process. McGraw Hill, New York] provides a useful tool for the quantification from narrative storylines of scenario drivers and model parameters. Descriptions of the narratives are, however, helpful at each step to facilitate the discussion and communication of the resulting scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)101-115
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Research areas

  • Former LIFE faculty - Scenario development, SRES scenarios, Climate change, Agricultural land use, Pairwise comparison

ID: 8012045