WP5 - Land-use response to climatic and economic change
Agent-based models of agricultural land-use provide a tool for policy makers to investigate the impact of policy decisions on future land-use at local, regional, national and EU-wide scales. However, the inputs to land-use models are usually the uncertain products of other statistical or mathematical models (of varying resolution). The land-use models are often used alongside economic, policy and farmer-decision models to build up a picture of interaction through a number of possible scenarios.
The key drivers for land-use models are the climatic and economic conditions. It is well established that there is a great deal of uncertainty around climate predictions, but due to the difficulty of harnessing this uncertainty, climate scenarios are typically used that ignore the real uncertainty (for example, in the UK the UKCIP projections based on the IPCC scenarios are used (http://www.ukcip.org.uk/)). Few attempts have been made to couple land-use models to economic and climate models, since the complexity inflates computational costs and the feedbacks that exist between the economy and land-use are difficult to capture.
Within UncertWeb, we will build the service chain that represents and addresses this problem. This will introduce practical ICT challenges such as how to combine complex models that are slow to evaluate and how to achieve this in the most computationally efficient manner.