Mathematical modeling for improved greenhouse gas balances, agro-ecosystems, and policy development: Lessons from the Australian experience

Moore, Andrew, Eckard, Richard, Thorburn, Peter, Grace, Peter, Wang, Enli, & Chen, Deli (2014) Mathematical modeling for improved greenhouse gas balances, agro-ecosystems, and policy development: Lessons from the Australian experience. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 5(6), pp. 735-752.

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Abstract

If the land sector is to make significant contributions to mitigating anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in coming decades, it must do so while concurrently expanding production of food and fiber. In our view, mathematical modeling will be required to provide scientific guidance to meet this challenge. In order to be useful in GHG mitigation policy measures, models must simultaneously meet scientific, software engineering, and human capacity requirements. They can be used to understand GHG fluxes, to evaluate proposed GHG mitigation actions, and to predict and monitor the effects of specific actions; the latter applications require a change in mindset that has parallels with the shift from research modeling to decision support. We compare and contrast 6 agro-ecosystem models (FullCAM, DayCent, DNDC, APSIM, WNMM, and AgMod), chosen because they are used in Australian agriculture and forestry. Underlying structural similarities in the representations of carbon flows though plants and soils in these models are complemented by a diverse range of emphases and approaches to the subprocesses within the agro-ecosystem. None of these agro-ecosystem models handles all land sector GHG fluxes, and considerable model-based uncertainty exists for soil C fluxes and enteric methane emissions. The models also show diverse approaches to the initialisation of model simulations, software implementation, distribution, licensing, and software quality assurance; each of these will differentially affect their usefulness for policy-driven GHG mitigation prediction and monitoring. Specific requirements imposed on the use of models by Australian mitigation policy settings are discussed, and areas for further scientific development of agro-ecosystem models for use in GHG mitigation policy are proposed.

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ID Code: 88544
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1002/wcc.304
ISSN: 1757-7780
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Deposited On: 10 Nov 2015 00:02
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2015 00:23

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