A web tool helps predict climate change in agriculture

A new web tool, created as a collaboration between the French, Spanish, German and the Estonian researchers, gives an overview of climate change in Europe and predicts subsequent developments.

This article is published in collaboration with Research in Estonia.

The new web tool, created with the help of Estonian scientists, aims to give an overview of climatic changes over the last 30 years and projections for the coming 30 years in the different agricultural regions in Europe.

“Climate change is one of the main challenges facing the entire world, and especially the agricultural sector,” Ragnar Leming, an associate professor at the Estonian University of Life Sciences and one of the researchers involved with the project, said. “Even if a few European agricultural regions may benefit from the changing conditions, most agricultural producers assess the changes to be negative. Unwanted developments are mostly seen in regions already suffering from the poor state of the environmental condition.”

Climate projections

For the new web tool, a map was compiled consolidating data from approximately 300 production areas. One yellow grid point on the map represents an area of 25 x 25 kilometres (15.5 x 15.5 miles; 625 square kilometres, 240.25 square miles). The web tool allows to look at various agroclimatic data, climate projections and possible adaptation measures for each specific area. Users wishing to test their climate-related knowledge can also take the multiple-choice quiz.

The webtool was compiled consolidating data from approximately 300 production areas in Europe. One yellow grid point on the map represents an area of 625 square kilometres (240.25 square miles).

According to Leming, European farmers must adapt to the changing climate and adopt measures which would ensure the continued good productivity for the farms in the future. First, adaptation plans must be created to reduce vulnerability and ensure the sustained development of the farm.

The tool is available in Estonian, Spanish, English, French and German, and has been developed within the LIFE AgriAdapt project funded by the LIFE programme of the European Commission.

Cover: Bulls in Estonia. The image is illustrative. Photo by Marleen Valdmaa.

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