Earth Institute Research Projects

Type 1 Collaborative Research: Integration of Decadal Climate Predictions, Ecological Models and Human Decision-Making Models to Support Climate Resilient Agriculture in the Argentine Pampas

Lead PI: Dr. Lisa Goddard , Dr. Walter E. Baethgen

Unit Affiliation: International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI)

May 2011 - April 2014
South America ; Argentina
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The multi-faceted aspects of climate variability and climate change affect a variety of societal sectors, regions and issues, including sustainable development, poverty mitigation and food security. Decision makers at many levels-households, communities, regions and countries-will increasingly need credible information that combines state-of-the-art climate science with an integrative understanding of the dynamics of affected natural/human systems. The overarching goal of this project is to enhance society's capacity to act on regional information, e.g. decadal predictions. In particular, the project seeks to facilitate adaptation to a shifting climate and inform resilient decision-making in agricultural production - a human activity that is critically vulnerable to climate. The geographic focus is the Pampas of central eastern Argentina, one of the main cereal and oilseed producing regions in the world.

Well-informed adaptation to climate variability and change requires the capacity to 'translate' knowledge of decadal climate predictions into decision-relevant, sector-specific information and knowledge that is consistent with existing needs, procedures and decision protocols. To enhance the match between capabilities and expectations of decadal climate predictions, a sustained, iterative dialogue is implemented between climate scientists and multiple agricultural stakeholders. The goals of this dialogue are twofold: (i) to understand decision makers' information needs, beliefs, values and priorities, as well as the constraints under which they operate, and (ii) to provide useful feedback to the climate modeling community that will guide future model development and communication. As part of the project modern, rigorous statistical approaches will be applied to investigation of extreme climate events responsible for most societal impacts.

OUTCOMES: Climate model enhancements must be matched by a better understanding of how science can inform climate-resilient decisions.


University of Miami


National Science Foundation




Guillermo Podesta, Rochard Katz, Benjamin Kirtman, Micheal North


Asociación Argentina de Consorcios Regionales de Experimentación Agrícola (AACREA), University of Miami, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Servicio Meteorologico Nacional Argentina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, University of Colorado



agricultural production systems climate and society decadal variability agriculture precipitation patterns


Modeling and Adapting to Future Climate