Climate Impacts, Food Security, and Multiple Breadbasket Failures


Center Director Anthony Janetos leads an effort supported by John Connors and Irene Monasterolo that seeks to understand the potential consequences of crop productivity failures in the world’s major breadbasket regions. The initial emphasis at the Center is the use of the integrated assessment model, GCAM, to explore scenarios in which drought or other climate shocks reduce agricultural yields simultaneously in different regions of the world, under different policy scenarios. The results for land allocation, food security, food prices, and terrestrial carbon emissions can be analyzed for a preliminary evaluation of the systemic risk from such events. With Irene Monasterolo, the Center is developing new models using concepts from systems dynamics and agent-based modeling to explore how evolution of decision making in various actors in the agricultural and energy sectors might mitigate such risks.

The Center hosted an international workshop in the fall of 2014 to develop an overall research agenda, and published the results as a Pardee Center Research Report titled “The Risks of Multiple Breadbasket Failures in the 21st Century: A Science Research Agenda” in March 2017. Co-authored by Center Director Anthony Janetos and an interdisciplinary team of leading researchers, the report describes a science research agenda toward improved probabilistic modeling and prediction of multiple breadbasket failures and the potential consequences for global food systems.