Our very own David Maddison is involved in two such offerings and in the spirit of self publicity here are the abstracts:
The perception of and adaptation to climate change in Africa
By: Maddison, David
The objective of this paper is to determine the ability of farmers in Africa to detect climate change, and to ascertain how they have adapted to whatever climate change they believe has occurred. The paper also asks farmers whether they perceive any barriers to adaptation and attempts to determine the characteristics of those farmers who, despite claiming to have witnessed climate change, have not yet responded to it. The study is based on a large-scale survey of agriculturalists in 11 African countries. The survey reveals that significant numbers of farmers believe that temperatures have already increased and that precipitation has declined. Those with the greatest experience of farming are more likely to notice climate change. Further, neighboring farmers tell a consistent story. There are important differences in the propensity of farmers living in different locations to adapt and there may be institutional impediments to adaptation in some countries. Although large numbers of farmers perceive no barriers to adaptation, those that do perceive them tend to cite their poverty and inability to borrow. Few if any farmers mentioned lack of appropriate seed, security of tenure, or market accessibility as problems. Those farmers who perceive climate change but fail to respond may require particular incentives or assistance to do what is ultimately in their own best interests. Although experienced farmers are more likely to perceive climate change, it is educated farmers who are more likely to respond by making at least one adaptation.
The impact of climate change on African agriculture : a ricardian approach
By: Maddison, David
This paper uses the Ricardian approach to examine how farmers in 11 countries in Africa have adapted to existing climatic conditions. It then estimates the effects of predicted changes in climate while accounting for whatever farmer adaptation might occur. This study differs from earlier ones by using farmers ' own perceptions of the value of their land. Previous research, by contrast, has relied on either observed sale prices or net revenues, sometimes aggregated over geographically large tracts of terrain. The study also makes use of high resolution data describing soil quality and runoff. Furthermore, it tackles the challenges involved in modeling the effect of climate on agriculture in a study that includes countries in the northern and southern hemispheres, as well as the tropics. The study confirms that African agriculture is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Even with perfect adaptation, regional climate change by 2050 is predicted to entail production losses of 19.9 percent for Burkina Faso and 30.5 percent for Niger. By contrast, countries such as Ethiopia and South Africa are hardly affected at all, suffering productivity losses of only 1.3 percent and 3 percent, respectively. The study also confirms the importance of water supplies as measured by runoff, which, being affected by both temperature and precipitation, may itself be highly sensitive to climate change.