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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Dec;1146:338-53. doi: 10.1196/annals.1446.013.

Impacts of climate change and variability on European agriculture: results of inventory analysis in COST 734 countries.

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Department of Agronomy and Land Management, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.


Climate plays a fundamental role in agriculture because of to its influence on production. All processes are regulated by specific climatic requirements. Furthermore, European agriculture, based on highly developed farming techniques, is mainly oriented to high quality food production that is more susceptible to meteorological hazards. These hazards can modify environment-genotype interactions, which can affect the quality of production. The COST 734 Action (Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on European Agriculture), launched in 2006, is composed of 28 signature countries and is funded by the European Commission. The main objective of the Action is the evaluation of possible impacts arising from climate change and variability on agriculture and the assessment of critical thresholds for various European areas. The Action will concentrate on four different tasks: agroclimatic indices and simulation models, including review and assessment of tools used to relate climate and agricultural processes; evaluation of the current trends of agroclimatic indices and model outputs, including remote sensing; developing and assessing future regional and local scenarios of agroclimatic conditions; and risk assessment and foreseen impacts on agriculture. The work will be carried out by respective Working Groups. This paper presents the results of the analysis of the first phase of inventory activity. Specific questionnaires were disseminated among COST 734 countries to collect information on climate change analysis, studies, and impact at the European level. The results were discussed with respect to their spatial distribution in Europe and to identify possible common long- and short-term strategies for adaptation.

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