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  1. Abstract

    Assessing impacts on coupled food-water systems that may emerge from water policies, changes in economic drivers and crop productivity requires an understanding of dominant uncertainties. This paper assesses how a candidate groundwater pumping restriction and crop prices, crop yields, surface water price, electricity price, and parametric uncertainties shape economic and groundwater performance metrics from a coupled hydro-economic model (HEM) through a diagnostic global sensitivity analysis (GSA). The HEM used in this study integrates a groundwater depth response, modeled by an Artificial Neural Network (ANN), into a calibrated Positive Mathematical Programming (PMP) agricultural production model. Results show that in addition to a groundwater pumping restriction, performance metrics are highly sensitive to prices and yields of perennial tree crops. These sensitivities become salient during dry years when there is a higher reliance on groundwater. Furthermore, results indicate that performing a GSA for two different water baseline conditions used to calibrate the production model, dry and wet, result in different sensitivity indices magnitudes and factor prioritization. Diagnostic GSA results are used to understand key factors that affect the performance of a groundwater pumping restriction policy. This research is applied to the Wheeler Ridge-Maricopa Water Storage District located in Kern County, California, regionmore »reliant on groundwater and vulnerable to surface water shortages.

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  2. Abstract

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to “strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty” (UNFCCC 2015). Designing a global mitigation strategy to support this goal poses formidable challenges. For one, there are trade-offs between the economic costs and the environmental benefits of averting climate impacts. Furthermore, the coupled human-Earth systems are subject to deep and dynamic uncertainties. Previous economic analyses typically addressed either the former, introducing multiple objectives, or the latter, making mitigation actions responsive to new information. This paper aims at bridging these two separate strands of literature. We demonstrate how information feedback from observed global temperature changes can jointly improve the economic and environmental performance of mitigation strategies. We focus on strategies that maximize discounted expected utility while also minimizing warming above 2 °C, damage costs, and mitigation costs. Expanding on the Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy (DICE) model and previous multi-objective efforts, we implement closed-loop control strategies, map the emerging trade-offs and quantify the value of the temperature information feedback under both well-characterized and deep climate uncertainties. Adaptive strategies strongly reduce high regrets, guarding against mitigation overspending for less sensitive climatemore »futures, and excessive warming for more sensitive ones.

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  3. Abstract

    Irrigated agriculture in snow-dependent regions contributes significantly to global food production. This study quantifies the impacts of climate change on irrigated agriculture in the snow-dependent Yakima River Basin (YRB) in the Pacific Northwest United States. Here we show that increasingly severe droughts and temperature driven reductions in growing season significantly reduces expected annual agricultural productivity. The overall reduction in mean annual productivity also dampens interannual yield variability, limiting yield-driven revenue fluctuations. Our findings show that farmers who adapt to climate change by planting improved crop varieties may potentially increase their expected mean annaul productivity in an altered climate, but remain strongly vulnerable to irrigation water shortages that substantially increase interannual yield variability (i.e., increasing revenue volatility). Our results underscore the importance for crop adaptation strategies to simultaneously capture the biophysical effects of warming as well as the institutional controls on water availability.