Costs of Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change


Climate change will have large, but still uncertain, effects on agriculture. This report provides estimates of the impacts on human well-being through effects on agricultural production, prices, and trade. Two indicators provide the metrics to assess the impacts on human well-being—per capita calorie consumption and child malnutrition count. These metrics are used to assess the costs of adaptation with three types of investment— agricultural research, rural roads, and irrigation infrastructure and efficiency improvement. To provide some idea of the uncertainties inherent in the climate change simulations, two general circulation models (GCMs) using the A2 SRES scenario from the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC et al., 2007) provide the climate inputs to the modeling work.

The challenge of modeling climate change impacts in agriculture arises in the wide ranging nature of processes that underlie the working of markets, ecosystems, and human behavior. The analytical framework for this report integrates modeling components that range from the macro to the micro and from processes that are driven by economics to those that are essentially biological in nature. The report begins with a discussion of the modeling methodology and data used. The second part of the report provides the results of the analysis. An Annex provides additional technical details.


World Bank, Washington DC, USA. Discussion Paper 4, 62 pp.

Costs of Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change

Published 1 January 2010